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Anonymous

Guest
Boeing said:
this is a trick question because scott knows that the top 1% don't pay income tax (and don't put themselves on pay roll). their tax accrues as capital gains.

which might indicate that scott himself isnt in this tax bracket (hint) which might actually make his argument more objective than ya'll think. Not that its correct all the time.

and scott for the sake of discussion it is best to answer your own questions first then ask for an alternative
this is a trick question because scott knows that the top 1% don't pay income tax (and don't put themselves on pay roll). their tax accrues as capital gains.
Factually inaccurate and it's not a trick question.


which might indicate that scott himself isnt in this tax bracket (hint) which might actually make his argument more objective than ya'll think. Not that its correct all the time.
I am not in the top 1%.

and scott for the sake of discussion it is best to answer your own questions first then ask for an alternative
This seems to be a point of contention around here. I read many posts that make statements like the rich don't pay taxes, or the rich cheat their way to success, or the rich don't pay their fair share, or the rich don't (fill in the blank). I'm not the one making these declarations so for my benefit, I would like to know who the rich are. So far, no one has been able to answer a very simple question.
 
May 23, 2010
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Scott SoCal said:
This seems to be a point of contention around here. I read many posts that make statements like the rich don't pay taxes, or the rich cheat their way to success, or the rich don't pay their fair share, or the rich don't (fill in the blank). I'm not the one making these declarations so for my benefit, I would like to know who the rich are. So far, no one has been able to answer a very simple question.
The rich cheat more than they pay..the not so rich do too..the working class stiff does pay less but the impact to them is greater..The person who could almost afford a house or almost afford to go to the doctor or dentist or put new tires on the car is constantly targeted by YOUR KIND to make up the difference.. and you are right there singing their praises like some wannabe powerball winner. Besides that the only reason everyday republicans talk about taxes is to try to brag about their income..OH THE BURDEN ON ME...unique experiences--check
 
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Anonymous

Guest
redtreviso said:
The rich cheat more than they pay..the not so rich do too..the working class stiff does pay less but the impact to them is greater..The person who could almost afford a house or almost afford to go to the doctor or dentist or put new tires on the car is constantly targeted by YOUR KIND to make up the difference.. and you are right there singing their praises like some wannabe powerball winner. Besides that the only reason everyday republicans talk about taxes is to try to brag about their income..OH THE BURDEN ON ME...unique experiences--check
Avoidance.

You violate your 12 step program. Better call your sponsor.

You are afraid to answer a couple of simple questions. How telling. What's the problem?
 
May 23, 2010
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Scott SoCal said:
Avoidance.

You violate your 12 step program. Better call your sponsor.

You are afraid to answer a couple of simple questions. How telling. What's the problem?
I'd have to spend the time reading the questions in order to answer..Since the questions come from someone that votes for Sarah Palin I figure there's better things to do..
 
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Anonymous

Guest
redtreviso said:
I'd have to spend the time reading the questions in order to answer..Since the questions come from someone that votes for Sarah Palin I figure there's better things to do..
Be a coward. It's there for everyone to see.

Easy questions... what's the deal?


Oh, and I am curious of your comments regarding the Bush tax plan. Still a tax break for the wealthiest? Pffft.

Years long lying comes to an end. How sad.
 
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Scott SoCal said:
Hmmm. Lookey here.

In tax year 2000 (last of the Clinton years), the top 1% threshold was $313,469. The amount of tax paid as a percentage was 37.42%. In 1999, the top 1% paid 36.18% of income.

The Bush years;

............Top (AGI) 1% threshold............% of income paid in tax
2001................292,913....................................33.89
2002................285,424....................................33.71
2003................295,495....................................34.27
2004................328,049....................................36.89
2005................364,657....................................39.38
2006................388,806....................................39.89
2007................410,096....................................40.42
2008................380,354....................................38.02

So how can it be that Bush gave a big tax break to the wealthiest Americans when his tax plan captured a larger percentage of a larger adjusted income?

Kinda debunks that old tired leftist mantra a little, don't it?

The highest AGI percentage tax the Clinton plane ever produced was 37.42%. If you average the top 1% tax paid during the Clinton years you get 32.74%. If you do the same for the Bush years you get 37.06%.

Shhhhhhoooocker.

Eat it Red.

Edit: Wrong link posted

Correct link
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in03etr.xls
285-410... hell... I got those folks in my neighborhood.. See what those that make that in a week pay.. Now fess up.. You didn't find that on IRS' site.. Cato or Heritage cherry picked that for your use.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
redtreviso said:
285-410... hell... I got those folks in my neighborhood.. See what those that make that in a week pay.. Now fess up.. You didn't find that on IRS' site.. Cato or Heritage cherry picked that for your use.
You can't read? Wow, now why does that not surprise me?

Click on the link (with the left mouse clicker thingy), then scroll all the way to the bottom.

If you are dyslexic then you will have some trouble, otherwise it's all there.

How about that Red? The Daily Kos and Arriana have been taking you for the fool you apparently are.

Public information just sucks for the liars, don't it?
 
May 23, 2010
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Scott...perhaps you were too busy singing along with the "stick a boot up your azzz" song by Toby Keith to have paid attention.

"" DLC | New Dem Daily | March 19, 2002
Making Deficits Permanent

It wouldn't be Spring without the annual GOP gimmick surrounding Tax Day: some bogus gesture to let voters know that Republicans really, truly do hate the taxes that pay for the governments they want to run. But this year, House Republicans are offering something more serious, if no less bogus, than a gimmick: legislation to make many of last year's tax cuts "permanent." Calling it a "Tax Payers Bill of Rights," Speaker Dennis Hastert indicated to reporters that he hoped to bring up the legislation by April 15. President Bush endorsed the idea in a public appearance yesterday.

But the reason some of those very cuts were not made "permanent" in the first place was because the Bush Administration and House Republicans needed to structure them in a way that would hide the overall cost of the Bush tax package. The best example is the gradual phase-out of the federal estate tax: under last year's bill, it is scheduled to begin phasing out this year, and be fully eliminated by 2010. It is then resurrected in 2011 (at 2001 rates). This book-cooking scheme made it possible for Republicans to claim that the tax package only cost $1.3 trillion, when in fact it cost $1.7 trillion, or more, because it's safe to say no Congress will actually allow that to happen when the time comes. """

http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?kaid=131&subid=192&contentid=250283
 
Scott SoCal said:
So in other words the State shall decide how much of their money (that I earn) do I get to keep? Did I get that correct in your view?

Confiscation of labor? Of course not.... it's something altogether different.



Agree 100%.
The State shall decide, within reason, how much of what you earn is taxable.

The issue is one of perception. If the State is perceived merely as a rapacious entity that only wants to hold me back, then of course paying taxes will be viewed with great hostility.

If, on the other hand, we look at at as our civic duty and responsibility to collective society, then it begins to take on a different aspect.

I'm not ingenuous, in that I'm well aware that nobody likes giving money to the government and that the politicians frequently squander the cash on everything but that which would make the lives of the common masses a bit better.

However, this is a problem with democracy not a principle.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
redtreviso said:
Scott...perhaps you were too busy singing along with the "stick a boot up your azzz" song by Toby Keith to have paid attention.

"" DLC | New Dem Daily | March 19, 2002
Making Deficits Permanent

It wouldn't be Spring without the annual GOP gimmick surrounding Tax Day: some bogus gesture to let voters know that Republicans really, truly do hate the taxes that pay for the governments they want to run. But this year, House Republicans are offering something more serious, if no less bogus, than a gimmick: legislation to make many of last year's tax cuts "permanent." Calling it a "Tax Payers Bill of Rights," Speaker Dennis Hastert indicated to reporters that he hoped to bring up the legislation by April 15. President Bush endorsed the idea in a public appearance yesterday.

But the reason some of those very cuts were not made "permanent" in the first place was because the Bush Administration and House Republicans needed to structure them in a way that would hide the overall cost of the Bush tax package. The best example is the gradual phase-out of the federal estate tax: under last year's bill, it is scheduled to begin phasing out this year, and be fully eliminated by 2010. It is then resurrected in 2011 (at 2001 rates). This book-cooking scheme made it possible for Republicans to claim that the tax package only cost $1.3 trillion, when in fact it cost $1.7 trillion, or more, because it's safe to say no Congress will actually allow that to happen when the time comes. """

http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?kaid=131&subid=192&contentid=250283
Tax cuts "cost" the govt.... do tax increases "cost" the economy? "Cost" the tax payer?

Not that it matters but the senate was split 50/50. There were many compromises in order to get a deal. One of them was not to be permanent. Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote if I remember correctly. It wasn't a scheme, it was a deal.
 
May 23, 2010
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Scott SoCal said:
Tax cuts "cost" the govt.... do tax increases "cost" the economy? "Cost" the tax payer?

Not that it matters but the senate was split 50/50. There were many compromises in order to get a deal. One of them was not to be permanent. Cheney cast the tie-breaking vote if I remember correctly. It wasn't a scheme, it was a deal.
and all over the newswaves.. "yur either with us or with the terrists"
 
Scott SoCal said:
Open questions to Alpe, Hugh Januss, Redtreviso, Rhubroma and anyone else who wants to chime in.

Please define the level of yearly income you would consider to be "rich" or "wealthy".


For yearly income, I would say greater than $500k. Other factors come into play though as you know: Overall net wealth, geographic location, etc. In San Francisco, it's probably $1m, maybe more. In Sioux City, probably $300k.

What should the top marginal personal income tax rate be in the US?
Either increase it to about 50% on a tier higher than the current top affecting the top .1%, or keep it where it is and either cap or get rid of almost every tax exemption. The only exemptions should be things like charity, primary residence in US, 401k, education perhaps.

How much, as a percentage of income tax receipts, should the top 1% of earners pay? How much should the top 5% pay? 10% and 50% same question.
Similar answer. There should be another tier above where the code currently is, where those in the top .1% or so pay roughly 50%. But what we really need to do is restructure the tax code itself.

Should there be a cap on how much money an individual can make? If so, what should the cap be set at?
No. If you make $1b a year like a few hedge fund people have, then 50% is plenty to tax them. If you don't want all that money going to the government, then they can donate it to charity and still have more money left over than they could possibly spend.

What should the corporate tax rate (on profits) be?
It shouldn't change from where it is. That's not the problem. The problem is how warped and convoluted the code has been made in order to benefit some specific corporations or industries from paying. I mean, why in the hell does the oil industry need a favorable tax exemption??? If we eliminated nearly all of the tax credits, targeted tax relief, etc. the rate would be plenty high already. But this is as much of a state tax problem as a federal one. Some states, such as both yours and mine Scott, have instituted various tax credits that are so favorable that in a few instances the state is actually PAYING someone to do business there with tax revenue. It's insane.

Couple with this numerous government deregulation, subsidies, contracts, etc. that are given to many large businesses (KBR, Koch Industries, etc.) on both federal and state levels, and this is where it's unfair.

Fix all that FIRST, and then we could probably cut the tax rate by 10%.

Should there be a limit on how much money any corporate entity should be allowed to make? If so, what should that limit be?
No. No caps. Make all the money you can. Just do it fairly, and pay your taxes accordingly and all will be fine. Where we need caps are on tax exemptions. Or just eliminate nearly all of them, as I said before.

Beyond providing good and safe working conditions, workers compensation insurance, payroll taxes and unemployment insurance for employees, what else should business be mandated to provide their workers?
At it's root, that's fine. But it's not easy to clump together someone who owns a hot dog stand with one employee, with companies like Exxon, Microsoft, GE, etc. And this is where the liberals have it all wrong as well when they go after "business". It's also where the conservatives have it wrong when they defend all "business".

The root of the problem isn't so much in the tax rate, as it is in how exemptions are made, and why, and how the code is structured. Because of massive lobbying from numerous industries, the fact that many former corporate and Wall St. board members are on many government committees, the tax code is so corrupted and *******ized it's killing the country and making it a plutocracy where those who are connected with the politicians get much greater benefits than those who do not. The "conservatives" are left defending this system for the most part, and the "liberals" want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Where taxes could change IMO are as follows:

• Eliminate, or strictly cap, nearly all exemptions from the tax code. Limit it to (perhaps): Qualified charities. Primary US residence. Up to maybe $20k a year in education. 401k, IRA, HSA. Bicycle tax credit. :)

• Capital gains taxes need to be re-defined. As is now, they are nearly all clumped together. There needs to be a way to index them to inflation (a Jack Kemp idea 25 years ago that even Lester Thurow agreed with). Plus, as Warren Buffet has partially suggested, have ways to have them more beneficial to direct business investment, including employee benefits in the US, less beneficial to securities investment, and even less to overseas investment and holdings. You invest in your own business, or directly into someone elses, and get profit from that, you pay less. You put your money in large stock and bond funds, you pay more.

• What I stated a few pages ago on the SBA prime and microloans should be greatly extended.

I also favor a re-structuring of health care, as I stated before. Combining single payer that is rationed, with HSAs.

As I have stated many times though what we really need is a complete restructuring of campaign finance laws need to be done. Lobbying as is, should be a felony. If lobbyists wish to contact politicians, they can do it through e-mail, letters like the rest of us. And can speak directly with the politician at town hall meetings in an open forum like everyone else. Until this changes, there will be little changes in taxes.

Where this leaves a gap is in political guidance. For example, at the rate we're going, we're simply going to use up all the oil until it's gone, plus deal with all the ancillary problems of volatility in the Middle East, THEN we're going to look towards alternative energy. What we could be doing now is re-wiring and re-tooling the country for a more major shift to electrical power from renewable such as more solar, wind, and nuclear (yes, I'm still pro-nuclear). But if we leave all of this entirely to the private sector, it won't happen. They'll just stick with oil until it's gone, then take their money and keep it. This is where I agree with the liberals when it comes to government spending, as opposed to just tax credits. Hence, we could give massive tax credits to renewable energy, some already exist, and eliminate oil subsidies, but because of how corrupted and convoluted the tax code has become, I don't trust it. I actually have more trust, at least in this case, of the government working to re-wire the country for more electric power for the coming century, including spending millions of tax payer dollars on doing so. Though the root of lobbying problems still exist even in this situation. And that is why as I said before, we desperately need massive campaign finance reform, and to make lobbying illegal. Do this, and I'll reconsider my position on government spending in this regard.

The root of all of these problems is in the fact people use money to buy access to politicians to get them to alter the laws and tax codes to benefit them. And the politicians use this money to get reelected and stay in power. Both parties, all across the entire country. This is the giant elephant in the room everyone agrees exists, but no one really wants to discuss or tackle. And until it's taken care of, almost nothing else will be fairly changed. You can scream all you want about one tax or the other, one law or the other, but this is the real root of the problem. End of discussion.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Alpe d'Huez said:

Please define the level of yearly income you would consider to be "rich" or "wealthy".


For yearly income, I would say greater than $500k. Other factors come into play though as you know: Overall net wealth, geographic location, etc. In San Francisco, it's probably $1m, maybe more. In Sioux City, probably $300k.

What should the top marginal personal income tax rate be in the US?
Either increase it to about 50% on a tier higher than the current top affecting the top .1%, or keep it where it is and either cap or get rid of almost every tax exemption. The only exemptions should be things like charity, primary residence in US, 401k, education perhaps.

How much, as a percentage of income tax receipts, should the top 1% of earners pay? How much should the top 5% pay? 10% and 50% same question.
Similar answer. There should be another tier above where the code currently is, where those in the top .1% or so pay roughly 50%. But what we really need to do is restructure the tax code itself.

Should there be a cap on how much money an individual can make? If so, what should the cap be set at?
No. If you make $1b a year like a few hedge fund people have, then 50% is plenty to tax them. If you don't want all that money going to the government, then they can donate it to charity and still have more money left over than they could possibly spend.

What should the corporate tax rate (on profits) be?
It shouldn't change from where it is. That's not the problem. The problem is how warped and convoluted the code has been made in order to benefit some specific corporations or industries from paying. I mean, why in the hell does the oil industry need a favorable tax exemption??? If we eliminated nearly all of the tax credits, targeted tax relief, etc. the rate would be plenty high already. But this is as much of a state tax problem as a federal one. Some states, such as both yours and mine Scott, have instituted various tax credits that are so favorable that in a few instances the state is actually PAYING someone to do business there with tax revenue. It's insane.

Couple with this numerous government deregulation, subsidies, contracts, etc. that are given to many large businesses (KBR, Koch Industries, etc.) on both federal and state levels, and this is where it's unfair.

Fix all that FIRST, and then we could probably cut the tax rate by 10%.

Should there be a limit on how much money any corporate entity should be allowed to make? If so, what should that limit be?
No. No caps. Make all the money you can. Just do it fairly, and pay your taxes accordingly and all will be fine. Where we need caps are on tax exemptions. Or just eliminate nearly all of them, as I said before.

Beyond providing good and safe working conditions, workers compensation insurance, payroll taxes and unemployment insurance for employees, what else should business be mandated to provide their workers?
At it's root, that's fine. But it's not easy to clump together someone who owns a hot dog stand with one employee, with companies like Exxon, Microsoft, GE, etc. And this is where the liberals have it all wrong as well when they go after "business". It's also where the conservatives have it wrong when they defend all "business".

The root of the problem isn't so much in the tax rate, as it is in how exemptions are made, and why, and how the code is structured. Because of massive lobbying from numerous industries, the fact that many former corporate and Wall St. board members are on many government committees, the tax code is so corrupted and *******ized it's killing the country and making it a plutocracy where those who are connected with the politicians get much greater benefits than those who do not. The "conservatives" are left defending this system for the most part, and the "liberals" want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Where taxes could change IMO are as follows:

• Eliminate, or strictly cap, nearly all exemptions from the tax code. Limit it to (perhaps): Qualified charities. Primary US residence. Up to maybe $20k a year in education. 401k, IRA, HSA. Bicycle tax credit. :)

• Capital gains taxes need to be re-defined. As is now, they are nearly all clumped together. There needs to be a way to index them to inflation (a Jack Kemp idea 25 years ago that even Lester Thurow agreed with). Plus, as Warren Buffet has partially suggested, have ways to have them more beneficial to direct business investment, including employee benefits in the US, less beneficial to securities investment, and even less to overseas investment and holdings. You invest in your own business, or directly into someone elses, and get profit from that, you pay less. You put your money in large stock and bond funds, you pay more.

• What I stated a few pages ago on the SBA prime and microloans should be greatly extended.

I also favor a re-structuring of health care, as I stated before. Combining single payer that is rationed, with HSAs.

As I have stated many times though what we really need is a complete restructuring of campaign finance laws need to be done. Lobbying as is, should be a felony. If lobbyists wish to contact politicians, they can do it through e-mail, letters like the rest of us. And can speak directly with the politician at town hall meetings in an open forum like everyone else. Until this changes, there will be little changes in taxes.

Where this leaves a gap is in political guidance. For example, at the rate we're going, we're simply going to use up all the oil until it's gone, plus deal with all the ancillary problems of volatility in the Middle East, THEN we're going to look towards alternative energy. What we could be doing now is re-wiring and re-tooling the country for a more major shift to electrical power from renewable such as more solar, wind, and nuclear (yes, I'm still pro-nuclear). But if we leave all of this entirely to the private sector, it won't happen. They'll just stick with oil until it's gone, then take their money and keep it. This is where I agree with the liberals when it comes to government spending, as opposed to just tax credits. Hence, we could give massive tax credits to renewable energy, some already exist, and eliminate oil subsidies, but because of how corrupted and convoluted the tax code has become, I don't trust it. I actually have more trust, at least in this case, of the government working to re-wire the country for more electric power for the coming century, including spending millions of tax payer dollars on doing so. Though the root of lobbying problems still exist even in this situation. And that is why as I said before, we desperately need massive campaign finance reform, and to make lobbying illegal. Do this, and I'll reconsider my position on government spending in this regard.

The root of all of these problems is in the fact people use money to buy access to politicians to get them to alter the laws and tax codes to benefit them. And the politicians use this money to get reelected and stay in power. Both parties, all across the entire country. This is the giant elephant in the room everyone agrees exists, but no one really wants to discuss or tackle. And until it's taken care of, almost nothing else will be fairly changed. You can scream all you want about one tax or the other, one law or the other, but this is the real root of the problem. End of discussion.


The root of all of these problems is in the fact people use money to buy access to politicians to get them to alter the laws and tax codes to benefit them. <snip...>
Agree to your response 100%

Hence, we could give massive tax credits to renewable energy, some already exist, and eliminate oil subsidies, but because of how corrupted and convoluted the tax code has become, I don't trust it.
Subsidies & tax breaks are now tied with pay to play. There could be tax credits structured to encourage things of National importance like alternative energy research/production. The problem is how corrupt our political process is now. I agree with you... as it stands I don't trust the system.

As I have stated many times though what we really need is a complete restructuring of campaign finance laws need to be done.
Agree 100%

I'm not sure what I think of your Cap Gains take. I'd like to simplify the system not complicate it, so on that basis I'd probably lean towards doing something different. Perhaps we could classify certain SIC codes (technology, manufacturing, alternative energy for example) and eliminate taxes for gains invested in those industries/types of business. Kind of thinking out loud here....

If we were to put in place a simple tax it would have to eliminate deductions. I think I'd be for eliminating all deductions... a VAT or National Sales Tax and just scrap personal income tax altogether. No cheating and it will capture the underground economy.


Continued on next post
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The root of the problem isn't so much in the tax rate, as it is in how exemptions are made, and why, and how the code is structured. <snip>


Agree 100%. I hate corruption.

Beyond providing good and safe working conditions, workers compensation insurance, payroll taxes and unemployment insurance for employees, what else should business be mandated to provide their workers?
At it's root, that's fine. But it's not easy to clump together someone who owns a hot dog stand with one employee, with companies like Exxon, Microsoft, GE, etc. And this is where the liberals have it all wrong as well when they go after "business". It's also where the conservatives have it wrong when they defend all "business".
I think the system has been actually pretty fair to smaller business up until the passage of Obamacare. We will see how it goes... the elimination of the 1099 requirement was a big step in the right direction.

I'll never agree with the FMLA no matter how big the business is, but I'll never agree with everything on anything.

Should there be a limit on how much money any corporate entity should be allowed to make? If so, what should that limit be?
No. No caps. Make all the money you can. Just do it fairly, and pay your taxes accordingly and all will be fine. Where we need caps are on tax exemptions. Or just eliminate nearly all of them, as I said before.
Agreed.

What should the corporate tax rate (on profits) be?
It shouldn't change from where it is. That's not the problem. The problem is how warped and convoluted the code has been made in order to benefit some specific corporations or industries from paying. I mean, why in the hell does the oil industry need a favorable tax exemption??? If we eliminated nearly all of the tax credits, targeted tax relief, etc. the rate would be plenty high already. But this is as much of a state tax problem as a federal one. Some states, such as both yours and mine Scott, have instituted various tax credits that are so favorable that in a few instances the state is actually PAYING someone to do business there with tax revenue. It's insane.

Couple with this numerous government deregulation, subsidies, contracts, etc. that are given to many large businesses (KBR, Koch Industries, etc.) on both federal and state levels, and this is where it's unfair.

Fix all that FIRST, and then we could probably cut the tax rate by 10%.
Agreed.

Should there be a cap on how much money an individual can make? If so, what should the cap be set at?
No. If you make $1b a year like a few hedge fund people have, then 50% is plenty to tax them. If you don't want all that money going to the government, then they can donate it to charity and still have more money left over than they could possibly spend.
I'd probably entertain a 50% tax over a certain threshold. It would have to be pretty high... probably 100 million or more. The big problem is if you set that number at 100 million there will be a load of the top 1/10 of 1% that only make 99 million. They will defer income or whatever.

Scrap the current plan and let everyone pay based on their consumption may be a better answer.

Similar answer. There should be another tier above where the code currently is, where those in the top .1% or so pay roughly 50%. But what we really need to do is restructure the tax code itself.
I think we are on the same page here. Maybe not entirely but there is more in common than not.

The top 1% in wage earners (Adjusted Gross Income, through 2008) peaked in 2007 at $410,000. I'd have to agree with you. If your AGI is in the top 1% then I'd go with "Rich". Being wealthy, in my view, has much more to do with net worth.


Thanks for the reply. We are not very far apart on these issues.
 
May 23, 2010
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"the wealthy" that republicans talk about needing tax relief are people who make 5 or 10 mil on interest income alone. Not working people of any sort.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
redtreviso said:
"the wealthy" that republicans talk about needing tax relief are people who make 5 or 10 mil on interest income alone. Not working people of any sort.
Really? Who are these people? What are they invested in? How much is their principal investment?
 
Scott SoCal said:
Thanks for the reply. We are not very far apart on these issues.
Certainly when it comes to campaign financing and lobbying. It's the root of all political evil, so to speak.

I'd say we generally agree on taxes, in that there should be no caps, we should encourage production, and taxes should be centered on profits.

Obamacare hasn't fully taken effect, but I think it will likely add as many problems as it will fix. Many working poor people won't be driven into bankruptcy. Prices may stabilize. But there's going to be a bubble where someone running a business with a dozen or so employees, grossing less than about $1m a year is going to potentially be pinched. I don't see great benefit to large enterprises much one way or the other unless prices drop.

As I have said before, a rationed single payer system, with HSA's to pay for that which is not covered in the rationing (plus co-pay, etc.) is the way to go.

The current system is a disaster headed for bankruptcy.

redtreviso said:
"the wealthy" that republicans talk about needing tax relief are people who make 5 or 10 mil on interest income alone. Not working people of any sort.
Which is addressed in my suggestion on capital gains, and those above .1% (not 1%, point 1%) being taxed at a higher rate.

Someone sitting on heaps of Treasure Bills, money markets, various bond index funds, let alone foreign currency investments, etc. should not be given the same praise (and tax relief) as someone who actually puts funding directly into a US based company as a capital investor. The latter takes much more risk, and has more potential to grow the economy. While this suggestion may complicate matters as Scott suggests, in principle this tax structure must change. We need to encourage investment of hard money directly into companies as venture capitalism, and discourage people from just sitting on insane amounts of cash.
 
May 23, 2010
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Scott SoCal said:
Really? Who are these people? What are they invested in? How much is their principal investment?
400 people.. I heard 200.. and I heard 2000 people.. but whatever it is republicans think they are worth centering the whole system around.

closer to 500mil than 200mil.. The people that get to play with this money are more interested in the taxes on it than the owners..

http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/05/31/top-reagan-advisor-calls-out-the-gop-for-lying-to-america-about-taxes/
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
............Top (AGI) 1% threshold............% of income paid in tax
2001................292,913....................................33.89
2002................285,424....................................33.71
2003................295,495....................................34.27
2004................328,049....................................36.89
2005................364,657....................................39.38
2006................388,806....................................39.89
2007................410,096....................................40.42
2008................380,354....................................38.02
Just for fun I looked up the dutch income tax rates for 2011 (obviously does not include 19% vat):

1
€ 0 - € 18.628
33,00% <65 yrs
15,10% >65 yrs

2
€ 18.629 - € 33.436
41,95% <65 yrs
24,05% >65 yrs

3
€ 33.437 - € 55.694
42,00%
42,00%

4
>€ 55.695
52,00%
52,00%

see Belastingdienst
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:

Please define the level of yearly income you would consider to be "rich" or "wealthy".


For yearly income, I would say greater than $500k. Other factors come into play though as you know: Overall net wealth, geographic location, etc. In San Francisco, it's probably $1m, maybe more. In Sioux City, probably $300k.

What should the top marginal personal income tax rate be in the US?
Either increase it to about 50% on a tier higher than the current top affecting the top .1%, or keep it where it is and either cap or get rid of almost every tax exemption. The only exemptions should be things like charity, primary residence in US, 401k, education perhaps.

How much, as a percentage of income tax receipts, should the top 1% of earners pay? How much should the top 5% pay? 10% and 50% same question.
Similar answer. There should be another tier above where the code currently is, where those in the top .1% or so pay roughly 50%. But what we really need to do is restructure the tax code itself.

Should there be a cap on how much money an individual can make? If so, what should the cap be set at?
No. If you make $1b a year like a few hedge fund people have, then 50% is plenty to tax them. If you don't want all that money going to the government, then they can donate it to charity and still have more money left over than they could possibly spend.

What should the corporate tax rate (on profits) be?
It shouldn't change from where it is. That's not the problem. The problem is how warped and convoluted the code has been made in order to benefit some specific corporations or industries from paying. I mean, why in the hell does the oil industry need a favorable tax exemption??? If we eliminated nearly all of the tax credits, targeted tax relief, etc. the rate would be plenty high already. But this is as much of a state tax problem as a federal one. Some states, such as both yours and mine Scott, have instituted various tax credits that are so favorable that in a few instances the state is actually PAYING someone to do business there with tax revenue. It's insane.

Couple with this numerous government deregulation, subsidies, contracts, etc. that are given to many large businesses (KBR, Koch Industries, etc.) on both federal and state levels, and this is where it's unfair.

Fix all that FIRST, and then we could probably cut the tax rate by 10%.

Should there be a limit on how much money any corporate entity should be allowed to make? If so, what should that limit be?
No. No caps. Make all the money you can. Just do it fairly, and pay your taxes accordingly and all will be fine. Where we need caps are on tax exemptions. Or just eliminate nearly all of them, as I said before.

Beyond providing good and safe working conditions, workers compensation insurance, payroll taxes and unemployment insurance for employees, what else should business be mandated to provide their workers?
At it's root, that's fine. But it's not easy to clump together someone who owns a hot dog stand with one employee, with companies like Exxon, Microsoft, GE, etc. And this is where the liberals have it all wrong as well when they go after "business". It's also where the conservatives have it wrong when they defend all "business".

The root of the problem isn't so much in the tax rate, as it is in how exemptions are made, and why, and how the code is structured. Because of massive lobbying from numerous industries, the fact that many former corporate and Wall St. board members are on many government committees, the tax code is so corrupted and *******ized it's killing the country and making it a plutocracy where those who are connected with the politicians get much greater benefits than those who do not. The "conservatives" are left defending this system for the most part, and the "liberals" want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Where taxes could change IMO are as follows:

• Eliminate, or strictly cap, nearly all exemptions from the tax code. Limit it to (perhaps): Qualified charities. Primary US residence. Up to maybe $20k a year in education. 401k, IRA, HSA. Bicycle tax credit. :)

• Capital gains taxes need to be re-defined. As is now, they are nearly all clumped together. There needs to be a way to index them to inflation (a Jack Kemp idea 25 years ago that even Lester Thurow agreed with). Plus, as Warren Buffet has partially suggested, have ways to have them more beneficial to direct business investment, including employee benefits in the US, less beneficial to securities investment, and even less to overseas investment and holdings. You invest in your own business, or directly into someone elses, and get profit from that, you pay less. You put your money in large stock and bond funds, you pay more.

• What I stated a few pages ago on the SBA prime and microloans should be greatly extended.

I also favor a re-structuring of health care, as I stated before. Combining single payer that is rationed, with HSAs.

As I have stated many times though what we really need is a complete restructuring of campaign finance laws need to be done. Lobbying as is, should be a felony. If lobbyists wish to contact politicians, they can do it through e-mail, letters like the rest of us. And can speak directly with the politician at town hall meetings in an open forum like everyone else. Until this changes, there will be little changes in taxes.

Where this leaves a gap is in political guidance. For example, at the rate we're going, we're simply going to use up all the oil until it's gone, plus deal with all the ancillary problems of volatility in the Middle East, THEN we're going to look towards alternative energy. What we could be doing now is re-wiring and re-tooling the country for a more major shift to electrical power from renewable such as more solar, wind, and nuclear (yes, I'm still pro-nuclear). But if we leave all of this entirely to the private sector, it won't happen. They'll just stick with oil until it's gone, then take their money and keep it. This is where I agree with the liberals when it comes to government spending, as opposed to just tax credits. Hence, we could give massive tax credits to renewable energy, some already exist, and eliminate oil subsidies, but because of how corrupted and convoluted the tax code has become, I don't trust it. I actually have more trust, at least in this case, of the government working to re-wire the country for more electric power for the coming century, including spending millions of tax payer dollars on doing so. Though the root of lobbying problems still exist even in this situation. And that is why as I said before, we desperately need massive campaign finance reform, and to make lobbying illegal. Do this, and I'll reconsider my position on government spending in this regard.

The root of all of these problems is in the fact people use money to buy access to politicians to get them to alter the laws and tax codes to benefit them. And the politicians use this money to get reelected and stay in power. Both parties, all across the entire country. This is the giant elephant in the room everyone agrees exists, but no one really wants to discuss or tackle. And until it's taken care of, almost nothing else will be fairly changed. You can scream all you want about one tax or the other, one law or the other, but this is the real root of the problem. End of discussion.
Great thoughtful post!
 
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