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  • #46
    Re: The hell with the IRS!

    Originally posted by sordavie View Post
    Didn't Gambit just, 3 posts up, list the reason why you're looking at the wrong statistics for what counts as a fair tax system? And you come right back and post those same exact statistics again? That's pretty dense of you.
    Speaking of dense...

    It's interesting to note that Global.Cooling posted statistics that show that the bottom 50% income group pays much less than their income, proportionally, compared to any of the other groups, which would be exactly the opposite of what Gambit was arguing...



    Dense...
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    • #47
      Re: The hell with the IRS!

      As far as density goes:

      Average density of a human being:
      It's just about the same as that of water, because when you put the average human being in water, he just barely floats in it. Some people can sink or float depending on how much air they hold in their lungs, so their density can vary from just below to just above 1.0 g/cm^3.

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      • #48
        Re: The hell with the IRS!

        Originally posted by sordavie View Post
        Didn't Gambit just, 3 posts up, list the reason why you're looking at the wrong statistics for what counts as a fair tax system? And you come right back and post those same exact statistics again? That's pretty dense of you.
        Didn't Tybalt just, one page earlier, list the exact statistics Gambit is referencing? I believe Tybalt posted numbers from the Congressional Budget Office detailing the percentage of income people in different income percentiles pay in Federal taxes.

        And by golly if the rich don't pay a hell of a lot more as a percentage of their income than everyone else. They pay several times more than the "poor."

        But only dense people remember what happened one page earlier.


        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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        • #49
          Re: The hell with the IRS!

          We've discussed this in lots of other tax threads. Statistics can be twisted to give support to any argument you wish to use. By merely adjusting what reference class you're using, you get a proliferation of stats, some of which are relevant and others aren't. The question is which statistic is relevant. It can be very hard to tell. For instance, while the lowest earners contribute smaller percentages of their total income than the highest earners, they contribute much higher percentages of their disposable income than the highest. I took that to be the statistic that Gambit was referring to. Why doesn't that counts towards unfairness?

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          • #50
            Re: The hell with the IRS!

            Originally posted by sordavie View Post
            Didn't Gambit just, 3 posts up, list the reason why you're looking at the wrong statistics for what counts as a fair tax system? And you come right back and post those same exact statistics again? That's pretty dense of you.
            meh, my explanation probably wasnt clear enough.. El Gringo's was better when he basically said he ends up only paying about 5% taxes.

            5% of a few million (if he made that much) is a lot more than 30% of a standard 45k/year salary. Hence the reason the top 2% pay the lion's share. However, even if the wealthy paid 30% - so what? 30% of a few mill is nothing. 30% of $45,000 is a helluva lot. (relatively speaking) Still moot though, because we all know the top 2% dont pay 30%.

            But, let's go with this logic... Global's graphs bring up an interesting point, because in WHAT sensible society does that much cash come from so few people? If anything, it denotes a problem. It means WAY too much power and control is locked up in too few places. Since we have this little thing called "democracy" obviously this tax structure is counterproductive. If people that wealthy can control that much of our revenue with only a modicum of taxes being paid; that's not good. Might as well be a feudal society.

            So it's a double-edged sword in which both sides need to be dulled so to speak. The wealth has to be spread out whilst concurrently the wealthiest need to be paying higher net taxes; or middle-income folks lower taxes. Eventually over time it'll even itself out into a flat tax... in the perfect world

            Obama's tax plans are going this direction and I applaud them for this, but in reality it's not going to be enough to fix it. They know this, but politically they can only get away with so much while so much power is locked in so few places. Gotta chip away at it slowly.

            edit: (some posts got added)
            Nikolas, the stats you're referring to only show the gross PERCENTILE that the wealthy fall into and their overall contributions before filing. They DO NOT talk about net contributions as they relate to total income and/or disposable income. My boss(es) never pay net taxes anywhere close to what I do... I probably pay twice as much percentage-wise, even though their percentile bracket and overall class contributions are higher.

            Maybe we need to break out these stats more fruitfully like Sordavie suggest... because honestly, they're too arbitrary

            CD, I dont really understand that graph (I've seen it before). Perhaps I'm dense, but it seems like a pretty counterintuitive chart. Can you explain it?

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            • #51
              Re: The hell with the IRS!



              Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
              CD, I dont really understand that graph (I've seen it before). Perhaps I'm dense, but it seems like a pretty counterintuitive chart. Can you explain it?
              Sure. What I'm looking at is the fact that the top 1% group pays 34% of our taxes (as a group), but only makes 17% of the income (as a group), while the bottom 50% group pays 3.5% of our taxes (as a group), and makes 14% of the income (as a group). Percentage-wise, the rich group is paying more taxes than the poor group.

              If you want to bring the term "disposable income" into play, well, then we're no longer playing a fair game. Who decides whether or not something is a necessity? I think my car and my computer is a necessity. Without them, I could not keep my job, my quality of life would suffer and my family would be less secure. But they guy that lives in the inner city might look at my car and computer as luxuries that nobody really needs. Likewise, I might look at some rich dude's limousine or some princess's designer sunglasses and think that they're a luxury while they're thinking about how much of a necessity they are... The fact is that "disposable income" doesn't mean much. I'm sure that it's possible to have more money than you honestly know what to do with (or "need"), but I don't see how subjective ideals have any place in a discussion about what is "fair".
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              • #52
                Re: The hell with the IRS!

                Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                The wealth has to be spread out whilst concurrently the wealthiest need to be paying higher net taxes; or middle-income folks lower taxes. Eventually over time it'll even itself out into a flat tax... in the perfect world
                A flat tax means a constant tax rate. I think you are missing a big step in explaining how widening the tax brackets today (further from a flat tax) will lead to a flat tax in the future.

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                • #53
                  Re: The hell with the IRS!

                  Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post




                  Sure. What I'm looking at is the fact that the top 1% group pays 34% of our taxes (as a group), but only makes 17% of the income (as a group), while the bottom 50% group pays 3.5% of our taxes (as a group), and makes 14% of the income (as a group). Percentage-wise, the rich group is paying more taxes than the poor group.

                  If you want to bring the term "disposable income" into play, well, then we're no longer playing a fair game. Who decides whether or not something is a necessity? I think my car and my computer is a necessity. Without them, I could not keep my job, my quality of life would suffer and my family would be less secure. But they guy that lives in the inner city might look at my car and computer as luxuries that nobody really needs. Likewise, I might look at some rich dude's limousine or some princess's designer sunglasses and think that they're a luxury while they're thinking about how much of a necessity they are... The fact is that "disposable income" doesn't mean much. I'm sure that it's possible to have more money than you honestly know what to do with (or "need"), but I don't see how subjective ideals have any place in a discussion about what is "fair".
                  Gambit says it well. When you have 1% of the people paying 34.3% of the taxes you have a big problem.

                  The gut/emotional reaction is to say "OMG!!! The rich are getting screwed!"

                  Think about it. That one percent pays ~35% of about 1.17 trillion dollars.

                  I will say that again. 1% of the population pays about 500 billion dollars in taxes! And this 1% can still afford the crazy sh*t that they buy!

                  How much freaking money do they have? Did they really work that much harder than everybody else? Are they really that much smarter than everybody else? Did they take that much more risk than everybody else? Make that much better decisions than everybody else? Did they bet their genitals against the devil?

                  Noooo. Of course not. They are a bit smarter, worked just about as hard, took just a little more risk and made a few more better decisions.

                  That is it. Nothing more. In short most of them simply got lucky.

                  I don't think the government should tax their money away, BTW. But I don't think that these people would be harmed that much if their percent went up to 37%.

                  Oh, and the above is only income tax. The payroll tax burden is much more towards the low end. The rich pays very little of that amount.
                  Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                  - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                  - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                  - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                  - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                  - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                  - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                  • #54
                    Re: The hell with the IRS!

                    Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post




                    Sure. What I'm looking at is the fact that the top 1% group pays 34% of our taxes (as a group), but only makes 17% of the income (as a group), while the bottom 50% group pays 3.5% of our taxes (as a group), and makes 14% of the income (as a group). Percentage-wise, the rich group is paying more taxes than the poor group.

                    If you want to bring the term "disposable income" into play, well, then we're no longer playing a fair game. Who decides whether or not something is a necessity? I think my car and my computer is a necessity. Without them, I could not keep my job, my quality of life would suffer and my family would be less secure. But they guy that lives in the inner city might look at my car and computer as luxuries that nobody really needs. Likewise, I might look at some rich dude's limousine or some princess's designer sunglasses and think that they're a luxury while they're thinking about how much of a necessity they are... The fact is that "disposable income" doesn't mean much. I'm sure that it's possible to have more money than you honestly know what to do with (or "need"), but I don't see how subjective ideals have any place in a discussion about what is "fair".
                    Yah, but the top 1% has over 15% of the entire income in the country. Whereas an entire bracket below 50% is only 15%.

                    Not to mention, that graph doesnt give percentages of invidividual incomes, only percentages of the total income of the U.S. along with tax share. If they broke it out into net "Taxes Paid" individually it'd be a different story and you'd see the middle 50% paying the most, followed by the weathly (who deduct air) and the poor (who just arent taxed).

                    Honestly, that graph really means jack on an individual level, which to people with and w/o money is all that really matters. To the wealthy it's great for their argument that they think they're paying too much taxes because it hides their individual percentages and lumps all of them together into a tax/income share. Let's just call it a sort of propaganda of sorts.

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                    • #55
                      Re: The hell with the IRS!

                      *Ahem* The "individuals" that you claim aren't paying taxes because they "deduct air" are added together to MAKE that group statistic. If they were really paying so little after deductions, the group statistic that includes them wouldn't still have such an enormous number.

                      The super-rich do get to take advantage of one quirk of our tax system though: Income from investments is taxed at a lower rate than income from salary, and you don't get to be super-rich without picking up some significant income from investments. Deductions aren't really that big a deal, since the AMT and deduction phaseouts both mean the superrich can't really use them anyway. But the preferred rate on Capital Gains is a huge advantage for them.

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                      • #56
                        Re: The hell with the IRS!

                        Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                        For instance, while the lowest earners contribute smaller percentages of their total income than the highest earners, they contribute much higher percentages of their disposable income than the highest.
                        How much of one's income is disposable or not, even for those in poverty in the US, is a personal choice. You can feed a family of four on a five dollars a day - and even much less. Or you can feed them on thirty dollars a day. You can rent a place for $200/mo, or you can pay $400/mo. You can drive a '72 VW or you can drive a... you get the point.
                        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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                        • #57
                          Re: The hell with the IRS!

                          But Gambit is right. It is propaganda. The fact that 1% of Americas population can afford (rather easily) to pay over 1/3 of the biggest budget the world has ever seen is kinda glossed over.

                          Another problem I have with the current situation.

                          Should that one percent of the population have that much say in how our economy is run?

                          Look at the latest crisis. It was caused, in part, because a rather small percentage of people made some very bad decisions.

                          The vast majority of people had realistic housing costs. They really only had some bad credit card debt.
                          Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                          • #58
                            Re: The hell with the IRS!

                            Originally posted by Nikolas View Post
                            How much of one's income is disposable or not, even for those in poverty in the US, is a personal choice. You can feed a family of four on a five dollars a day - and even much less. Or you can feed them on thirty dollars a day.
                            Up to a point.

                            Most in poverty can survive until you pile on medical costs. Then they are ruined.

                            Just surviving is just that, surviving. Piss on the American dream for the masses. They don't deserve it.
                            Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: The hell with the IRS!

                              Clarification:

                              Disposable income is gross income minus income tax on that income.[1]
                              Discretionary income is income after subtracting taxes and normal expenses (such as rent or mortgage and food) to maintain a certain standard of living.[2] It is the amount of an individual's income available for spending after the essentials (such as food, clothing, and shelter) have been taken care of:
                              Discretionary income = Gross income - taxes - necessities
                              Despite the formal definitions above, disposable income is commonly used to denote Discretionary income. The meaning should therefore be interpreted from context.
                              [edit]Use of discretionary income in high-income loan applications

                              When applying for a loan (mortgage, consumer loan), lenders may take into consideration a high-income applicant's discretionary income in order to assess the loan repayment capacity of the applicant. Discretionary income provides the lender with more information on the applicant's capacity to repay than the debt-to-income ratio in the case where the applicant has a lot of debt, but also a lot of income, such that the percent of available income may be smaller than normal standards would allow, but the actual amount of money is still large.
                              Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discretionary_income

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                              • #60
                                Re: The hell with the IRS!

                                Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                                *Ahem* The "individuals" that you claim aren't paying taxes because they "deduct air" are added together to MAKE that group statistic.

                                Precisely. Even AFTER only net paying 5-15% taxes as gringo says.

                                Like I said before, I'd rather have them pay non-deductible taxes that are less instead of PRETENDING to pay high taxes and touting graphs such as those to prove their point. It's a lie, and gross. You cant use their tax share numbers to determine how much percentage they should be taxed before deductions, that's lunacy... especially when they control that much budget with so little net taxed.

                                Basically, the whole system (being a federalist form of govt., not a true democracy) is again designed to gloss over the truth and dumb-down the masses. I aint buyin it and neither should you.

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