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Mon May 2, 2016, 02:23 PM

 

The USA only has one fiscal problem: Lack of political will to tax those who have all the money.

128 replies, 7769 views

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Reply The USA only has one fiscal problem: Lack of political will to tax those who have all the money. (Original post)
Scuba May 2016 OP
ChisolmTrailDem May 2016 #1
nadinbrzezinski May 2016 #2
Fresh_Start May 2016 #28
1939 May 2016 #61
Fresh_Start May 2016 #88
Dont call me Shirley May 2016 #45
SomeGuyInEagan May 2016 #57
Ghost Dog May 2016 #58
1939 May 2016 #62
nadinbrzezinski May 2016 #91
SomeGuyInEagan May 2016 #104
nadinbrzezinski May 2016 #106
clarice May 2016 #114
FreakinDJ May 2016 #77
MH1 May 2016 #87
Nye Bevan May 2016 #3
tk2kewl May 2016 #8
Nye Bevan May 2016 #19
scottie55 May 2016 #52
1939 May 2016 #64
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #70
Nye Bevan May 2016 #74
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #102
1939 May 2016 #82
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #103
1939 May 2016 #110
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #119
1939 May 2016 #122
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #124
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #69
1939 May 2016 #125
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #127
1939 May 2016 #128
LiberalArkie May 2016 #15
Dyedinthewoolliberal May 2016 #20
LiberalArkie May 2016 #25
Indydem May 2016 #31
Calista241 May 2016 #49
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #21
lancer78 May 2016 #123
Phlem May 2016 #24
SujiwanKenobee May 2016 #44
hfojvt May 2016 #59
1939 May 2016 #63
7962 May 2016 #71
ProfessorPlum May 2016 #80
7962 May 2016 #95
ProfessorPlum May 2016 #101
fasttense May 2016 #90
pampango May 2016 #4
Kang Colby May 2016 #5
LiberalArkie May 2016 #27
ProfessorGAC May 2016 #81
Gore1FL May 2016 #85
maxsolomon May 2016 #6
1StrongBlackMan May 2016 #10
whatthehey May 2016 #13
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #67
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #23
1StrongBlackMan May 2016 #29
Indydem May 2016 #32
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #35
1StrongBlackMan May 2016 #38
FrodosPet May 2016 #84
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #92
JDPriestly May 2016 #43
1StrongBlackMan May 2016 #47
1939 May 2016 #65
SomeGuyInEagan May 2016 #105
JDPriestly May 2016 #108
hunter May 2016 #111
LisaM May 2016 #86
lumberjack_jeff May 2016 #93
1StrongBlackMan May 2016 #112
FrodosPet May 2016 #83
KittyWampus May 2016 #96
1StrongBlackMan May 2016 #99
Throd May 2016 #7
msongs May 2016 #9
Scuba May 2016 #12
alarimer May 2016 #22
Phlem May 2016 #34
Enthusiast May 2016 #40
AlbertCat May 2016 #36
Lurker Deluxe May 2016 #41
PoliticAverse May 2016 #126
MisterFred May 2016 #56
7962 May 2016 #75
whatthehey May 2016 #11
Indydem May 2016 #33
whatthehey May 2016 #78
7962 May 2016 #76
whatthehey May 2016 #79
7962 May 2016 #94
whatthehey May 2016 #98
7962 May 2016 #120
jtuck004 May 2016 #14
1939 May 2016 #66
NobodyHere May 2016 #109
YoungDemCA May 2016 #16
Phlem May 2016 #26
hunter May 2016 #17
jwirr May 2016 #18
sulphurdunn May 2016 #30
Helen Borg May 2016 #37
Enthusiast May 2016 #39
Punkingal May 2016 #42
MariaThinks May 2016 #46
babylonsister May 2016 #48
jonestonesusa May 2016 #50
azmom May 2016 #51
Babel_17 May 2016 #53
bhikkhu May 2016 #54
hfojvt May 2016 #60
raven mad May 2016 #55
Fast Walker 52 May 2016 #68
secondwind May 2016 #72
Betty Karlson May 2016 #73
Plucketeer May 2016 #89
ReRe May 2016 #97
Javaman May 2016 #100
rladdi May 2016 #107
clarice May 2016 #113
Scuba May 2016 #115
clarice May 2016 #116
Scuba May 2016 #117
clarice May 2016 #118
tblue37 May 2016 #121

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:24 PM

1. Chip shot back to the top and a rec. nt

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:24 PM

2. Actually add one other issue

 

An inability to charge folks for externalities. That includes industry.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:43 PM

28. Absolutely right

I keep think if we can't get people to pay income taxes....the alternative is use taxes...

I"m sorry you want to leave or enter this country?
We charge a variable rate for that privilege..

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Response to Fresh_Start (Reply #28)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:05 AM

61. Works wonders for "undocumented" immigration.

They aren't "illegals" anymore. They are "tax evaders" and subject to IRS harassment.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #61)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:38 AM

88. I wasn't thinking about undocumented immigration

I was thinking of the 1% travelling across the globe.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Mon May 2, 2016, 06:35 PM

45. Bingo, nadin!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:37 AM

57. Revoke corporate charters.

And put on trial those who knowingly sink the world economy. And those who gin up the evidence to start wars. And those who knowingly risk the lives of their customers to get a few more pennies per widget. Or those who risk the health of their employees by skirting a few of those pesky, interferring regulations about exposure in the work place (exposure to toxins). Or those who rape and systematically cover up the widespread raping of children in churches. Or governors who plotted to poison the drinking water of a whole damned city!

Or maybe we just wait for things to get really bad.

God, we have a leadership void in this country, in government, in business, in religion ... you name it, it is rare to find an area where the shit has not risen to the top.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #57)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:05 AM

58. Jail & confiscation of their assets & those of partners & family.

Medical facilities for those diagnosed as true psycho/sociopaths.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #57)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:07 AM

62. Any organization is like a septic tank

The really large chucks always rise to the top.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #57)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:13 AM

91. Be careful about the broad brush there

 

Believe it or not most charters are held by very small businesses.

That said, there are issues.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #91)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:36 AM

104. Sorry. Did not mean "Revoke all ..." But do states EVER revoke a corporate charter?

Yes, but rarely.

If the people in charge of them are not held accountable, revoking the charter is actually an option.

Founding and running a business is a privilege, not a right.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #104)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:48 AM

106. It happens, but not with the big boys and girls

 

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #91)

Tue May 3, 2016, 01:04 PM

114. Absolutely right... punish the big guys.. and the small guys will suffer too.nt

 

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:24 AM

77. The more money you have - the more "Right Offs" you have

 

Its not a "Progressive Tax System" at all

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:26 AM

87. The fundamental issue with under-regulated capitalism. nt.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:25 PM

3. Since President Obama's reelection, the top rate of income tax on the rich has increased by 4.6%.

The top rate of tax on interest income for the rich has increased by 8.4%.

The top rate of tax on capital gains and dividends for the rich has increased by 8.8%.

Were you unaware of this?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:43 PM

8. still not enough if we are forced to cut programs like food stamps.

 

and how about corporate taxes?

how about those rich folks who have seen their rates creep up stashing their cash so it isn't taxed at all?

and btw... were you unaware that tax increases were simply due to the expiration of absurd tax cuts for the wealthy?

oh, and how about a link regarding the 8.4% increase

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #8)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:27 PM

19. Sure.

The increase was from 35% to 43.4% (increase in the income tax rate of 4.6%, from 35% to 39.6%, plus an ACA surcharge of 3.8%. The 8.4% is the 4.6% increase plus the new 3.8% surcharge.

Details and links:

Expiration of Bush tax cuts for individuals earning $400,000 or more and couples earning $450,000 or more:


For individuals with taxable income of $400,000 per year or less ($450,000 for a married couple on a joint tax return, both thresholds to be indexed for inflation after 2013),[1] the tax rates for income, capital gains, and dividends remained at their 2012 levels, instead of reverting to the higher rates from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.[2][3]

For individuals with taxable income over the $400,000/$450,000 thresholds:

-The top marginal tax rate on income of 39.6%, provided for under the expiration of the 2001 portion of the Bush tax cuts, was retained. This was an increase from the 2003–2012 rate of 35%.[2]

- The top marginal tax rate on long-term capital gains of 20%, provided for under the expiration of the 2003 portion of the Bush tax cuts, was retained. This was an increase from the 2003–2012 rate of 15%.[3]

- The top marginal tax rate on dividends, which would have increased to the ordinary income rate of 39.6% due to the expiration of the 2003 portion of the Bush tax cuts, was set to the capital-gains rate of 20%. This was an increase from the 2003–2012 rate of 15%.[3]

A phase-out of tax deductions and credits for incomes over $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples was reinstated. Limits on deductions had existed before the Bush tax cuts, and had disappeared in 2010.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Taxpayer_Relief_Act_of_2012




3.8% surtax for the wealthy on capital gains, dividends and interest income:


Surtax on unearned income. The Affordable Care Act will add a 3.8% surtax on net investment income over the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) threshold of $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married filers. Net investment income includes interest, dividends, royalties, rental income, gross income from a trade or business involving passive activities, and net gain from disposition of property (other than property held in a trade or business). With the new surtax, long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are taxed at a top rate of 23.8%, while non-qualified dividends, interest and rental income are taxed at a top ordinary rate of 43.4%. This does not include the "stealth tax," related to the phase-out of personal exemptions and itemized deductions for high earners, or the marginal rate "marriage penalty" that's set to come back for tax years beginning after December 31, 2012.

http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/resource_center/expert_insight/personal_finance/tax/healthcare_taxes.html





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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #19)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:19 PM

52. Income Taxed. Not Unrealized Capital Gains

 

Only when they take money out.

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Response to scottie55 (Reply #52)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:13 AM

64. So every year

your house gets appraised and you are hit for cap gains taxes on any appreciation?

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Response to 1939 (Reply #64)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:41 AM

70. that is hardly a lot of money for the vast majority of people

 

in any case, clearly capital gains from wall st speculation should taxed up the wazoo, and right now, they are not. It is criminal.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #70)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:54 AM

74. Lots of older people would need to sell their houses,

in order to pay the taxes due on the appreciated value.

Also, people who build successful businesses would owe tax on the appreciated value of the business.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #74)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:11 AM

102. well, one solution would be to exempt houses and businesses from the CG tax

 

The standard perception of capital gains is money gained from financial investments such as the stock market.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #70)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:53 AM

82. They are taxed.

Short term cap gains (which is what you get from speculation and short term trading) are taxed at the top rate of 39.6% plus the 3.8% Obamacare taxes. They are taxed at a rate higher than ordinary income.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #82)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:13 AM

103. Can you provide a source, because I've heard differently?

 

Yes, I could google it but perhaps you can find an authoritative source more quickly. Thanks

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #103)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:16 PM

110. Here

http://taxes.about.com/od/capitalgains/a/CapitalGainsTax.htm?utm_term=federal%20capital%20gains&utm_content=p1-main-1-title&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=gemini_s&utm_campaign=adid-fcf169a3-4d1b-4030-9346-fc17f2fa8978-0-ab_tsm_ocode-33060&ad=semD&an=gemini_s&am=modifiedbroad&q=federal%20capital%20gains&o=33060&qsrc=999&l=sem&askid=fcf169a3-4d1b-4030-9346-fc17f2fa8978-0-ab_tsm


Like everything else to do with income taxes, the thing is pretty convoluted. As you get near the bottom, you get to the tables for long and short term cap gains. These do not include the Obamacare additions to taxes which (theoretically) are not a part of the basic tax computation, but are an add-on after you compute your taxes and are an additional 3.8% on investment income (dividends, cap gains, etc).

.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #110)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:51 PM

119. thanks! So that table shows how someone with low regular income

 

but high capital gains, might not pay much tax-- if I am reading it right?

Like if most of your income was capital gains and you got little regular income, seems like you might pay 0% tax on long-term capital gains?

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #119)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:14 PM

122. Had to do a bit of looking

If your income was $75,000 or less and all from long term cap gains, you would pay zero taxes. At the $75,000 point, income from ordinary pay would be about $1,855 so that would be correct.

Now there is a corrector to this. If all my income was from dividends and long term cap gains, i would pay at the 20% rate regardless of how big an income I had (plus Obamacare add on). However, i would then be subject to the "Alternative Minimum Tax" which would raise my taxes to 28% (plus Obamacare add on). The AMT tries to assure that even if you take advantage of all the loopholes and low tax things like dividends and LT gains, you still pay 28%.

Even people who are not fantastically rich can fall into the AMT trap.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #122)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:55 PM

124. cool!

 

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Response to scottie55 (Reply #52)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:39 AM

69. the lack of capital gains tax is freaking insane

 

Capital gains should be taxed at least like regular income, if not higher.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #69)

Wed May 4, 2016, 08:16 AM

125. I think that here is the thinking on that

Short term capital gains are "speculations". Long term capital gains are "investments.

Suppose you took $15,000 in savings forty years ago and started your own business. Your business has done well and now you are getting old and ready to retire, You sell your business for $300,000. That is a "capital gain" of $285,000. Some of that gain is "illusionary" (i.e. a result of inflation over the last forty years) and some of it was the result of putting profits (already taxed) back into the business.

While I think that there should be some adjustment to capital gains taxation, I think there is a case to be made for having favorable tax treatment of long term gains.

My modest proposals:

1. Increase the holding period to qualify for long term gains from one years to two years.

2. Cap gains 2-5 years: Taxed at 75% of your max rate.

3. Cap gains 5-8 years: Taxed at 50% of your max rate.

4. Cap gains 8-11 years: Taxed at 25% of your max rate.

5. Cap gains over 11 years: Zero tax.

This will encourage "stock investment" as a way to build a retirement nest egg as opposed to "stock trading". You would invest for the long haul as opposed to getting in and out in the Wall Street casino.



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Response to 1939 (Reply #125)

Wed May 4, 2016, 10:18 AM

127. I like it! Now if we can only get Congress in the control of sane people...

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #127)

Wed May 4, 2016, 10:34 AM

128. As closely divided as the country may be

Any income tax bill will require a lot of horse trading and give-and-take. It always has. 1986 and Ross-Gephardt is a good example of the massive negotiations and compromises required. If DU had been around in 1986, I could imagine the rants that would have been cranked out.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:22 PM

15. The income tax rate doesn't affect a lot of the rich. Like Steve Jobs was only paid $1 a year.

He was really paid in stock like a lot of the big executives. So they are taxed under the capital gains rate. And then come all the deductions. What was the ladies name who said "only the poor pay taxes"?

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #15)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:30 PM

20. Leona Helmsley

and I think she said it like this - 'only the little people pay taxes'

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #20)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:38 PM

25. Yea, she is the one who let out their secret.

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #25)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:50 PM

31. Yeah, and she went to prison for it.

 

That's the part of the story too many don't remember - she paid for her monetary crime of not paying taxes by serving 19 months in prison.

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #15)

Mon May 2, 2016, 07:56 PM

49. And they're only taxed when they sell the shares.

Not when they're granted the shares.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:34 PM

21. What about the estate tax?

 

Low taxes on the rich promote concentration of wealth, creates inequality and reduces business investment and charity.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #21)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:27 PM

123. The estate tax

 

is the most easily avoided tax in history. Incorporating and gifting shares over 20 years to their kids saved my friend $640,000 in estate taxes.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:36 PM

24. WTF!?

If your voting for Hillary your part of the problem,
NOT THE SOLUTION
.

If you don't get that arguing with people who know that doesn't help your fucking cause.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Mon May 2, 2016, 06:26 PM

44. Do they pay it? n/t

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:20 AM

59. actually since Obama's re-election

the rich have gotten permanent tax cuts on dividend income.

The top rate for dividends increased by 8.8%? What is it now then 24.8%? If Obama (and congress) had just let the motherfucking Bush tax cuts EXPIRE it would have been 44.4%. So you think cutting that permanently to 24.8% is an increase? Only if you accept the Bush tax cuts as legitimate - I don't.

Also, the rich also have permanent tax cuts on the first $400,000 of their income. You know who gets most of the benefit from that? It's people who make MORE than $400,000 a year.

Again, something they would not have if Obama had just done NOTHING.

But whatever, permanent tax cuts are a victory somehow. $1.3 trillion over the next decade going to the richest 5%

Go team!

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:10 AM

63. More than that

Top rate on long term cap gains went from 15% to 20% PLUS 3.8% for Obamacare.

Short term capgains also increased from 35% to 39.6% PLUS 3.8% Obamacare.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:48 AM

71. Yes, just more proof that there arent enough rich people to make a big difference.

 

You could tax the rich at 80% and it still wouldnt make much of a dent in the debt. There arent enough of them.

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Response to 7962 (Reply #71)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:36 AM

80. That's a false argument

Taxing the rich and getting that money into circulation generates much more in taxes than simply what can be diverted from the rich. It's the economic activity of getting money out of the hands of hoarders that improves the revenue picture.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #80)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:38 AM

95. Its not a "false argument".

 

Look at what the top 5% make yearly. Tax it at whatever rate you want and you're STILL not going to make a dent in the debt. Because there arent ENOUGH of them.
Getting that money into circulation? How? By the govt spending even more? Hell, the rich folks "circulate" a ton ofit. Look at all the high dollar shit they buy all the time. Most of its not needed of course, but they dont care. And I guess you could say they ARE circulating it when they buy that million dollar boat or plane

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Response to 7962 (Reply #95)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:07 AM

101. Rich folks don't circulate a ton of it

that's the problem with trickle down economic thinking.

Look, if you are a rich person, you already buy what you need. You don't have to wait, you have the money to buy what you need already.

The government gives you more money. What are you going to do with it? Trickle-down, supply-side economists say you are going to spend it. But that's moronic. You have already satisfied your needs and wants. That money is going to go into a bank, or go off shore.

The "high dollar shit they buy all the time" is already happening, before tax cuts. Tax cuts just give them more money not to spend.

Tax high income earners, and give that money to low income people, and it will get spent and spent and spent again. give it to a high income earner and it goes in a bank and grows moss. (it might also be invested, by a rich person or a bank, but when too much money is doing this we get bubbles that grow and burst and kill the economy even more).

It's getting the money _flowing_ that matters, not trying to make a dent in the debt - flowing money means a healthy, big economy, and that means more taxes for the government.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:51 AM

90. Reelection, why use his reelection as a comparison point?

 

Why not use his election year?

The middle class actually lost some of their salary under Obama. Though Obama is making a slight difference in how much the thieving rich are paying in taxes on their huge, huge wealth, the Middle Class have actually lost some of their total salary under Obama. They have lost between 4.5% to 5% (depending on which numbers you use) through 2012. It was NEVER stagnant as Obama likes to call it. It actually declined.

But in 2013, it started going up every so slowly, baby step by baby step, the Middle Class's income has risen so as of 2014 it was only 1.4% less than when Obama took office.

Remember that folks. The middle class is making less total money (not adjusted for inflation) then when Obama took office. He has actually hurt the middle class. Recovery my behind.

http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/26/middle-class/

http://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/us/

So, you wonder why we don't want more of Obama policies under Hillary?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:31 PM

4. Exactly. FDR figured this out. Progressive countries today have not forgotten.

republicans figured that if you demonize the government long enough, you can convince people that it is better to keep money than to send it to the devil. Then you cut programs that serve people rather than the MIC and the 1%. Voila! Now people resent government even more. Rinse. Repeat.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:38 PM

5. In my view, taxes are too high. n/t

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Response to Kang Colby (Reply #5)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:40 PM

27. I am finally one of the privileged few. I don't have to pay taxes any more.

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Response to Kang Colby (Reply #5)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:40 AM

81. Thanks for The Enlightening Post

Now, were the post only enlightening.

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Response to Kang Colby (Reply #5)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:59 AM

85. Too high for what?

What would you sacrifice to save a nickle?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:42 PM

6. There's more than 1 fiscal problem

I lay it at the feet of Militarism. cut the DoD in half, or even by a third, and problem solved. Then you have an new unemployment problem, though.

Raising the cap on FICA taxes would solve more fiscal issues as well, but that's a facet of your problem.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #6)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:51 PM

10. I'm so glad you recognize this ...

 

I lay it at the feet of Militarism. cut the DoD in half, or even by a third, and problem solved. Then you have an new unemployment problem, though.


I live in a town with a military base And the largest civilian employer makes missiles ... cut the DoD budget in half or a third, and a bunch of people are out of work.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #10)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:07 PM

13. It's a tempting rebuttal, but that way madness lies

Why not then quadruple miliutary spending to solve unemployment at a stroke? Because it's more expensive.

Scroll down about 40% of the way to integrated defense systems. You'll see Revenue (what the DoD pays Raytheon) is $6B and labor is $2B. It's worth noting that according to GAAP that doesn't mean pay checks are $2B, that's what labor costs them overall.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1047122/000104712215000026/rtn-1231201410k.htm#s3F2FC801D504533FB08CD8EEAB3CD165

So if we were concerned with people being out of work we could certainly afford to compensate them exactly as Raytheon did for < 1/3 of what we pay the company for programs no longer needed. Even better, for society as a whole, we could pay twice as many people half as much and still only be spending 1/3 of the wate in the Pentagon.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #13)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:34 AM

67. exactly-- the Pentagon is a very costly, inefficient and highly polluting jobs program

 

How about putting money towards rebuilding infrastructure?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #10)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:36 PM

23. Presumably, the money would be spent elsewhere.

 

Those people could build bridges, roads and telecom infrastructure instead.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:46 PM

29. aeronautic engineers ...

 

don't, typically, have the skill set to build bridges or roads or telecom infrastructure.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #29)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:53 PM

32. Well then they can run a bulldozer!

 

So say those that think everyone who works in the MIC is Snidely Whiplash and deserves to be unemployed and homeless.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #29)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:04 PM

35. Then get them the skills they need.

 

This is the advice given to coal miners.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #35)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:11 PM

38. Okay.

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #35)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:59 AM

84. You cannot GIVE anyone skills

If they want the skills, they NEED to WANT the skills.

Perhaps a better statement would be giving motivated people access to skills.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #84)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:20 AM

92. It always seems that the only people given the advice to "get the skills for the new economy"

 

... are blue collar workers.

If your training only enables you to build rockets and bombs, retrain them to be coal miners.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #29)

Mon May 2, 2016, 06:05 PM

43. They could learn! I've got degrees, but I worked as a waitress, a dishwasher, and all

kinds of clerical jobs. No reason aeronautic engineers with a little training couldn't build things other than airplanes.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #43)

Mon May 2, 2016, 07:25 PM

47. Okay.

 

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #43)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:21 AM

65. There was a big cutback in 1974

Aeronautical engineers were clamoring to get into civil service or they were trying to open businesses. The space program, the missile program, and military/civil aviation were all being cut back.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #43)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:45 AM

105. Apparently not. According to some, aero engineers are incapable of change ...

... and need to exist as a protected, permanently employed class.

Meanwhile, many of the rest of us needed to adapt and learn new skills and pursue new careers as the economy shifts and changes.

But aero engineers - despite the rigors and talent and pure intellect required for the study and application of the discipline - simply cannot do anything else ... some claim.

Even if the bulk of that money were redirected toward better civilian aero and space projects. Even if some of that money were redirected toward engineering challenges such as rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and new generation energy initiatives. Sadly, aero engineers just can't adjust ... some claim.

Go figure.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #105)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:07 PM

108. We could use passenger planes that pollute less, that use less petrochemical fuel.

We could use passenger planes that afford passengers more leg room. Lots of work for aeronautical engineers.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #29)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:33 PM

111. Sure they do, and with minimal retraining. Materials change, the math and engineering skills do not.

The math and engineering skills are the difficult thing to learn.

For example, someone who understands the servomechanisms of aircraft is going to understand the servomechanisms of highly automated agricultural equipment, or even the unmanned aircraft a farmer might use to monitor the health of crops.

Cross pollination between engineering and/or scientific fields has always been a major source of innovation.

I always thought it would suck to be an engineer on some of the most useless U.S. military projects. My grandfather was an aerospace engineer who worked on some military boondoggles and money pits. He didn't talk about those. The pride of his career was work he did for the Apollo project. Bits of metal he made took men to the moon and back.





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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #23)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:07 AM

86. Isn't the interstate highway system technically a military installation?

Forgive me if I am fuzzy on details but IIRC when it was started it was done on the condition that the military could commandeer it in the event of a war or national emergency. As such, it seems to me we could direct some military funding towards repair and permanent maintenance of the system.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #86)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:20 AM

93. I think you're right, and this is a good point. n/t

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #93)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:51 PM

112. No, it's not ...

 

Aeronautic Engineers and Electronics Testers STILL don't have highway Maintenance skill sets.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #10)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:55 AM

83. They can get jobs as Uber drivers

For a few more years, until the self driving cars are here.

Then perhaps they can all get jobs filling out surveys. Or phone sales of search engine optimization services.

If they are lucky, hardworking and efficient, they can make over $100 a week.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #10)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:40 AM

96. Get rid of military contractors doing work that the military used to do for itself-

 

for less money and doing a better, more reliable job.

Think Halliburton severing rotten food to the troops in Iraq.

Or Blackwater gassing American troops and engaging in illegal behavior that American troops suffer blowback from.

Having a middle man making huge CEO salaries and paying out stock dividends was a bad idea from the start.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #96)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:50 AM

99. I agree.

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:42 PM

7. In my state (CA) it makes for a volatile tax base.

1% pays 50% of the taxes.

There was a good article in today's Sacramento Bee about it.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:46 PM

9. bernie is free to pay way more tax than he does with his low tax rate and all. He could chip in

half or 75% since he is in the top 2-3% of income earners. but he won't of course

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Response to msongs (Reply #9)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:53 PM

12. Jeezus... straight out of the Republican playbook. You must be very proud.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #12)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:35 PM

22. More and more of them sound like Republicans these days.

And it's only because Bernie has brought up the need to raise some taxes.

If Hillary, acknowledged the need to raise taxes on the rich (including herself- without cheating by creating shell corporations in Delaware), they'd be in favor.

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Response to msongs (Reply #9)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:03 PM

34. Wow. Just Wow.

The Democratic party does not exist anymore. Your comment is evident of that.

Wow.

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Response to Phlem (Reply #34)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:33 PM

40. Just imagine the record turnout to vote for HRC!

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Response to msongs (Reply #9)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:07 PM

36. bernie is free to pay way more tax than he does

 

No he isn't. The IRS sends the surplus back to you.


Do you even pay taxes? Are you old enough to even work?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #36)

Mon May 2, 2016, 05:54 PM

41. Uhhh no

They do not do anything if they owe you money, nothing. And after a period of time that money is no longer refundable.

If you overpay the IRS and do not file to get a return they will not, "send the surplus back to you".

If you do not claim your deductions they will not claim them for you, you can absolutely pay as much as you like.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #36)

Wed May 4, 2016, 09:03 AM

126. Yes if you want to overpay what you owe you must send it to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service

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Response to msongs (Reply #9)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:04 AM

56. Speaking of which, why don't you do that?

Freaking deadbeat. What, do you hate Amurika?

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Response to msongs (Reply #9)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:55 AM

75. Neither do any others in that bracket. Never do.

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 02:51 PM

11. Well it's a big one sure

I have no idea why policy setters seem entirely ignorant of the marginal propensity to consume. $1000 lower taxes for Bill Gates? doesn't change a damn thing in his consumption pattern. Won't even notice. $1000 lower taxes for me? Probably goes in the IRA and gets banded back and forth among the investor class, driving no additional consumption at all. $1000 lower taxes for a struggling family? Gets spent on unmet needs 100%, almost always on local C sector spending. I don't have a car that needs fixing. I'm not drying clothes by hand because I can't afford a tumble dryer. I'm not desperate for new clothes but limited to Goodwill hand me downs. The opposite is true, even more so. Tax Bill $1000, heck $100,000 more and he never notices. Tax me $1000 more and if I do notice it doesn't change my consumption one iota (the 100k will of course!). Tax those poor underwater folks $1000 more and every penny is reduced consumption, reduced expenditure in local businesses.

But we should also be spending less at the DoD and refining how we deliver social safety nets and healthcare to become more efficient too. I've worked for pharma companies. The US price premium is the other side of unconscionable and accelerating.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #11)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:55 PM

33. "$1000 lower taxes for a struggling family?"

 

How many struggling families are paying $1000 in income taxes?

Are you talking about handing them $1000 in free cash?

Because that's always a political winner.

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Response to Indydem (Reply #33)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:26 AM

78. millions of them, and yes

If you want to grow the economy, a political necessity fought only by extreme fringes of the green movement, then it's far better to put money in the hands of people who will spend it all on goods and services.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #11)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:07 AM

76. You're forgetting about the EITC, etc

 

A MH park I help service is full of low income families. EVERY year most get back 6-12 thousand dollars from the IRS. They're eager to tell you about it too. And you're right, they spend it. usually not very wisely, but they DO spend it.
We've already got 50% of the workers paying zero or negative income taxes.
There simply arent enough "rich" to make much of a difference in paying down the deficit or debt. We also have way too many professions that are not taxed anywhere NEAR what they actually should be, because they are self reported income earners.
Nothing is going to change as long as we continue to lower the number of people who contribute to running the system. The rich will ALWAYS find a way out when it gets too high in their opinion

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Response to 7962 (Reply #76)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:33 AM

79. Evven if anecdotes like this (not data) are true

It's because they are otherwithholding throughout the year. The EITC maxes out at a fraction of that amount for a huge family, so the only way to get 6k back is to pay far too much tax in. Some people, either from foolishness or a self-awareness of their lack of budget discipline, use overpayment as a savings account. They are getting no benefit but certainty from their interest free loan to the government, and no handouts at all.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #79)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:34 AM

94. Sorry, but Ive seen the checks. They DO get that much and more

 

They will proudly show it to you if you know them as well as I do. And theres no way they're paying in anywhere near that much, because I dont and I know I make a good bit more than they do. Now I've never seen their returns, so who knows whats on them, but I know they're not making a lot or they wouldnt be in a trailer park paying 450 a month.
The biggest I ever saw personally was 9450, for a family of 4.

I'm guilty ofnyour 2nd point; I'd much rather get something back than have to write a check! So I claim single/0. I call it "forced savings". It didnt work this year....

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Response to 7962 (Reply #94)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:49 AM

98. Then they had to have paid it in

I linked the EITC table. It's impossible to get near that refund size without overwithholding. 1040 tables are freely available online.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #98)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:28 PM

120. I dont know what youre looking at, but with 3 kids you get over 6k "credit"

 

(Your link didnt post) And "credit" means tax you didnt pay in.
Couple that with getting ALL the tax you paid in, and you're easily over 9K
https://www.irs.gov/Credits-&-Deductions/Individuals/Earned-Income-Tax-Credit/EITC-Income-Limits-Maximum-Credit-Amounts-Next-Year

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:17 PM

14. Nearly. But too many act as if there is no harder work necessary to solve the problem.

 

The years after FDR and until the modern era pols started dismantling everything after Carter had nearly everyone with their heads down working.

What we lacked, as this country always has, is the political will to pay all those laborers a fair wage.

We can take the money away from those who have taken it, but we will never be able to use law to make sure others can keep it.

Only if we use that money to make sure we are given the opportunity to use it with the barest interference necessary for the good of the nation, do we do them any favors.

Ask FDR or any labor leader of the industrial unions - people want to work, they want purpose. Not just get a check.

Pay us all an income without funding our search for purpose and you are building a program that isn't sustainable, and the people themselves will kill it.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #14)

Tue May 3, 2016, 04:30 AM

66. First big tax cut of my lifetime

Was JFK. Lowered all rates, but the top rate went down from 91% to 70% in 1963.

Carter dropped the top rate from 70% to 50% for "earned income" but kept the 70% rate for "unearned income". In other words, if you were a rock star make a few million a year, that was 50% taxable while if you had a small business and made $300K a year, the was 70%.

Reagan, early in his presidency, made it 50% for all income.

1986 was the grand bi-partisan (remember Gephardt?) "revenue neutral" tax reform where various tax deductions got traded off for lower rates.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #66)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:14 PM

109. It was LBJ that passed the JFK tax cuts

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:23 PM

16. You say that as if most members of Congress don't have shit tons of money themselves

 

And even those who don't have that much wealth are beholden to the donor class.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #16)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:38 PM

26. "You say that as if most members of Congress don't have shit tons of money themselves"

So let's vote for more of them!?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:24 PM

17. Yep.

Time to take back what the kleptocrats took.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:25 PM

18. Robert McChesney and John Nichols say in their book "People

Get Ready" that over the years we have allowed this mess to get like it is because we did not fight back. We used to tax the rich but now we know it is wrong - we just do not demand that it has to be done.

In the book they list a number of items we have been silent on when we should have been fighting back: the weakening of the Unions, the cuts in the safety net, eternal wars.

They argue that either we start fighting back or we are going to reach the point where we cannot.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 03:50 PM

30. It isn't that they lack the will.

 

They have the will not to tax themselves or their sugar daddies so some poor kid can get a free lunch at school. That's the kind of people they are.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:08 PM

37. Or better...

Lack of those who have all the money to tax themselves.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 04:31 PM

39. Scuba you are absolutely right on.

Including corporations. Because of Third Way the Democratic Party has largely adopted a belief in supply side economics.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #39)

Mon May 2, 2016, 06:03 PM

42. Bingo!

The Democratic party jumped on the Reagan bandwagon.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 06:38 PM

46. true

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 07:52 PM

48. Word. nt

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 08:00 PM

50. Amen to this.

Tweaking the prime rate and supply side tax cuts have run their course. Standing around with our fingers in our noses and watching the wealthy get wealthier is getting kinda old. But I guess the national Dem party still isn't tired of it yet, judging by their most likely standard bearer.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 09:12 PM

51. Sell outs and cowards. Nt

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:21 PM

53. The loophole lobby

You're treading on their dreams.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:37 PM

54. I'm inclined to think the federal tax rates are good and progressive

I didn't pay any taxes for years when I had low income and kids at home, even getting tax credits back often. That was very nice, and if I wasn't scraping by I'd have felt guilty about it. Now with the kids grown I devote more time to work, make more money, and pay a reasonable amount of taxes. I'm not near the top tier by any means, but its a reasonable amount. If I make more I pay more, unless I were to take advantage of various loopholes, most of which have disadvantages and trade-offs.

I know there is a ultra-rich class that does things like getting paid with stock options rather than salaries. Stock options aren't taxed until they are sold, which is fair enough. I don't think there's much you can do about people who have so much money they don't need income, so there's nothing to tax. At least Obama succeeded in raising the capital gains tax,

In any case, I don't agree that there is a revenue problem. We have a decent tax system and government revenues should be sufficient. What we do have is a spending problem, specifically military spending. That's also been on an improving trend under Obama, but it has a ways to go.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #54)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:25 AM

60. actually they are not

we are at the end of almost 30 years of tax cutting for the rich

Which was done by Reagan, by Clinton, by W, and by Obama. The tax rates are not what they ought to be.

And the rate on capital gains went up automatically when the Bush tax cuts expired.

But I guess we ought to be thankful that Obama and the DNC didn't lower those permanently too like they did for dividends and the estate tax.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:01 AM

55. Amen.

We (spouse and I) have a choice; eat, or get a decent place to live.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:37 AM

68. progressive taxation is an extremely important way to keep the oligarchs in check

 

and from having too much power. It also reduces income inequality. It does a lot of great things, but the super-rich hate it, of course.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:50 AM

72. Simple solution!

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:53 AM

73. Fantastic! K&R! eom

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:45 AM

89. This is sorta like asking a fly

 

to pull it's own wings off.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:42 AM

97. K&R

Look it: it's this simple. We pay our taxes to the USG via the IRS every April 15 or throughout the year, or both. And the USG turns around and GIVES our money to the 1% in the form of "tax breaks" (who gives the American people a tax break?); in the form of subsidies to the oil industry (wtf is up with that???); via loopholes that we know nothing about, because they were hidden in the back of a Bill somewhere that glided thru umpteen years ago, and it doesn't seem to matter whether it's a Democratic or Republican Administration who signed it!

You're right. The American public does have a fiscal problem. It's called retro amnesia. And if you try inform them of what has happened or try to shake them awake with the truth, they look at you like you are out of your mind, or they call you a conspiracy theorist, or they just think you are a partisan hack. Give them a book that explains it? Ha! They won't read it.

Just ask them this one last question and let it roll around in their heads for the rest of time: How the eff did the 1% get all the money? Hard work? Elbow grease? Them SOBs never worked an effing day in their lives. All their wealth came from one thing: the sweat and blood of the American people, er LABOR.

It IS the lack of will, plus the lack of intelligence, that keeps us from doing what needs to be done: Tax them SOBs back into the stone age and balance the scales of justice once and for all.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:00 AM

100. here is a quote from Upton Sinclair that explains why our govn't doesn't tax the rich...

It is difficult to get a man (congress) to understand something when his (their) salary depends on him (them) not understanding it.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:57 AM

107. Its not political will it the ignorant Americans, still cannot see what is being done

to them. We see it in the voting for Trump. Ignorant voters looking for Trump to destroy them.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 01:03 PM

113. Scuba.... you know that I love you... but do you really think that is the answer?nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #113)

Tue May 3, 2016, 01:51 PM

115. They're hiding trillions, so yeah.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #115)

Tue May 3, 2016, 01:54 PM

116. Who is hiding trillions? I can only think of Soros and that crowd... I doubt that.....

 

there are a lot of people with"trillions" to hide. Maybe I'm wrong. I have heard it proposed that anyone
making over $250,000 be taxed at 80%...now THAT"S wrong.

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Response to clarice (Reply #116)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:03 PM

117. Wake up and smell the coffee ....

 

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0719/opinions-taxation-tax-havens-banking-on-my-mind.html


... there is $15 trillion to $20 trillion in private wealth sitting offshore in bank accounts, brokerage accounts and hedge fund portfolios, completely untaxed.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-offshore-wealth-idUSBRE86L03U20120722

Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/business/apple-avoided-billions-in-taxes-congressional-panel-says.html?pagewanted=all

Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that is holding the public hearing Tuesday into Apple’s use of tax havens. “Apple successfully sought the holy grail of tax avoidance. It has created offshore entities holding tens of billions of dollars while claiming to be tax resident nowhere.”

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Response to Scuba (Reply #117)

Tue May 3, 2016, 02:10 PM

118. yawnnnn....sniff sniff...is that Chicory? nt

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 03:37 PM

121. Don't forget the huge amount of the budget that goes to our bloated military. nt

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