Why Aren't The Rich Paying 50 Percent in Income Taxes?

Tax Day (April 18) is fast approaching, which means anxiety and night sweats for about 99 percent of us.

And bitching and moaning by those at the top of the income pyramid about how they aren't forced to pay even more in taxes. (The top 1 percent of filers pay about 40 percent of income taxes.)

Secretary of state and cattle-futures queen Hillary Clinton, super-investor Warren Buffett, and best-selling author Stephen King have all recently carped about how rich folks like them should be paying more in taxes. King recently told a Florida rally, "As a rich person, I'm paying 28 percent in taxes. What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?"

But when it comes to the country's balance sheet, the U.S. doesn't have a revenue problem or a tax-rate problem. We've got a spending problem. Since 1950, revenue from all sources has averaged around 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product, despite top tax rates that have fluctuated from over 90 percent to the high 20-percent range. Regardless of all efforts to jack up revenue (or reduce it), that's what the government can expect to work with.

Yet spending has averaged about 20 percent of GDP - and is currently at a whopping 25 percent of GDP, a figure not seen since World War II. President Obama's budget plan forecasts spending at 23 percent of GDP over the next decade while Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP plan calls for 20.5 percent. There's your deficit right there, folks.

But King, Clinton, and Buffett - and you, too - can always pay more to retire federal debt held by the public. Just go to Treasury Direct and make a voluntary donation to reduce the national debt held by the public. So far in calender 2011, Treasury has pulled in an $125,000! Which means there's only about $8.99 trillion to go.

Written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie. About 2 minutes.

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  • Old Mexican||

    But when it comes to the country's balance sheet, the U.S. doesn't have a revenue problem or a tax-rate problem. We've got a spending problem.


    That's not true, it's an income problem caused by the Bush Tax cuts! I mean, Tony told me so, and he's a financial genius, so it must be true!

    I mean, it's like that bonus I did not get this year: my wife tells me "How are you going to pay for my lavish spending if you don't get more income"? You see? YOU SEE? It's an income problem!!! Just ask Tony - he knows.

    (You may turn up the gain again in your sarcasm-o-graph... the Big One just passed.)

  • Tony||

    Yeah, God forbid we should stop giving welfare to the rich and think about raising taxes to avoid screwing poor people even more than they already have been.

  • Otto||

    "God forbid we should stop giving welfare to the rich..."

    Name someone - anyone here who is against welfare to the rich.

  • cynical||

    Thievists (I think it's high time left-wing economics was given a more accurate label) think that letting people keep more of their own money than you used to take is a form of welfare. "All right, kid, you can keep half your lunch money today. Don't say I never did nothing for ya."

  • ||

    Is it welfare when you get to keep your own money?

  • Scott||

    Not raising taxes on the rich = screwing poor people

    That makes SO much sense!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Scott,

    Not raising taxes on the rich


    It gets worse, Scott - Tony misconstrues not raising taxes as "welfare for the rich," as if a robber was subsidizing YOU for not stealing from YOU.

    The twisted logic of the leftist mind, in the nutshell that is Tony's little head.

  • Tony||

    There's nothing twisted about it. If a poor person has X amount of resources at his disposal and a rich person has Y amount, then taking away from X to add to Y is welfare for the rich and theft from the poor.

    It doesn't matter how we arrived at X and Y, because it's always going to be a result of tax and spend policy. A person is entitled to whatever resources that policy grants them. It's no less theft if you take it from the poor and no less welfare if you give it to the rich.

  • ||

    Did you just say taxation is theft? Awesome. He's coming around, fellas. Baby steps.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    You can't "take" something from somebody who never had it to begin with.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    WTF are you on about? We already take from Y (rich) and give to X (poor).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It doesn't matter how we arrived at X and Y, because it's always going to be a result of tax and spend policy.


    People don't produce things, it's the policy. And, up is down.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It doesn't matter how we arrived at X and Y, because it's always going to be a result of tax and spend policy.

    Remember kids, becoming rich has nothing to do with your efforts or ideas. It's all about the tax and spend policy.

    Rent-seeking and corporatism, FTMFW.

  • cynical||

    Poor people don't have future entitlements at their disposal, dipshit. No one's going back and pulling welfare checks already issued out of the hands of the poor.

  • CJ||

    If a poor person has X amount of resources at his disposal and a rich person has Y amount, then taking away from X to add to Y is welfare for the rich and theft from the poor.

    Yes, exactly. Taxation is theft. That's why the poor shouldn't be taxed, or anyone else either.

  • ||

    what a heap of shit you lot speak. EVERYONE should pay equal tax of 10%. Call it value added which replaces ALL other taxes. In a country where everyone helps out,the mood of joining together to fix things is far greater than that of just expecting one section to pay the lot. In Australia,everyone pays GST (value added tax). It doesn't replace all taxes but does get rid of a lot.FOOD is not taxed.We started with 10% and found it created a surplus for the states,so we stayed there.
    Try it ,you might like it.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Let me know when poor people stop taking Earned Income Credits.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Yeah, God forbid we should stop giving welfare to the rich[...]


    Who advocates for welfare for the rich?

    [and God forbid we] think about raising taxes to avoid screwing poor people[...]


    What has one thing (taxation) have to do with the other (avoiding screwing the poor)? How does stealing less from one group help the other? You are making no sense, Tony, as always.

  • LBJ||

    What poor people? I eliminated poverty within ten years with my Great Society.

  • sevo||

    Tony|4.8.11 @ 10:32AM|#
    "Yeah, God forbid we should stop giving welfare to the rich"
    Straw man

    "and think about raising taxes to avoid screwing poor people even more than they already have been."
    Flat out lie.
    Good goin', Tony.

  • Realist||

    Most poor people were screwed by genetics....they're stupid!

  • Tony||

    Not a bad spoof!

    Whether we have a spending problem or a revenue problem is a matter of opinion. It certainly isn't settled by Gillespie's continued reference to the dishonest "18% of GDP" talking point.

    Tax rates are the lowest they've been in 60 years, so it's not beyond the realm of reasonable opinion that they're too low.

  • ||

    By that "logic" spending rates are the highest they've been in...ever, so it's not beyond the realm of reasonable opinion that it's too much.

  • Restoras||

    Tony doesn't use logic - he just has a handy-dandy lefty slide-rule that spits out his positions.

    Tax rates were much higher 60 years ago, eh? Well I thik we should go back to where they were 110 years ago - so there.

    As always, his idiotic posts are almost perfect entertainment. I bet he/she/it hails from LALA-Land. Except LALA-Land only pumps out crap.

  • Tony||

    Look, I'm not in hysterics over the deficit. All I'm saying is that if you are, you have to look at revenues, otherwise you're just playing a stupid parlor game: how much pain can we inflict on the American people?

    And I'd start with rescinding the Bush cuts, that weren't offset, because Bush had very few good policy ideas, as I'm sure you'll agree, and I don't see why we should start trusting him on this one.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Look, I'm not in hysterics over the deficit. All I'm saying is that if you are, you have to look at revenues[...]


    "But why should I curtail my spending, honey? What about you? Why don't you take that second job?"
    "Uh, honey, that second job is from 10 PM to 5 AM, and then I have to go to work at 8 AM to 5 PM. I can't do that!"
    "But surely you are not saying it's fair to just look at MY spending, or are you, honeybunch???"

  • Tony||

    Why can't you get it through your skull that government isn't meant to operate like a household, budget-wise? That's why the constitution expressly grants it the power to raise revenues.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Why can't you get it through your skull that government isn't meant to operate like a household, budget-wise?


    Why can't you get through your thick skull that government can't violate the Laws of Economics any more than you can?

    That's why the constitution expressly grants it the power to raise revenues.


    Non sequitur. And just because it's written, does not mean it will be so - they are NOT words of magic - SOMEBODY has to produce the wealth, first, and as far as I have seen, Americans are not slaves... yet.

    "Revenues, come to be!" *Ting!*

  • Tony||

    Interesting way to frame it since a lot of this nation's wealth was, in fact, generated with the help of slave labor.

    Not to mention there would be no nation without a genocide of the native peoples. So let's be a little careful about how much stock we put in how wealth came to be first. Fact is there would be no such thing as wealth without government there to back it up.

  • Ray Pew||

    Fact is there would be no such thing as wealth without government there to back it up.

    We disagree on the definition of "fact", seeing as this is in no way a fact.

  • Doc S||

    Re: Old Mex:

    While I don't agree with tony on this, using this "Just because its written doesn't mean it will be so" defense in response to a constitutional right seems to be very hypocritical of your typical pro constitutional arguements.

    You're getting off track again.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Doc S,

    While I don't agree with tony on this, using this "Just because its written doesn't mean it will be so" defense in response to a constitutional right [sic] seems to be very hypocritical of your typical pro constitutional arguements.


    Please, don't waste my time. It's not a "Constitutional right," it's an enumerated power. Congress has the power to tax. However, Tony argues that because it's in the Constitution, the revenues are assured ["Why can't you get it through your skull that government isn't meant to operate like a household"]. Can you think of something a wee more blatantly stupid than that?

    If you can, write it down and stop wasting my time!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    defense in response to a constitutional right seems to be very hypocritical of your typical pro constitutional arguements.

    The government doesn't have "rights." It has powers derived from the people.

  • Doc S||

    I stand corrected. Apparently I should have taken some sort of civics class rather than all those wasted years in engineering and econ. My apologies good sirs.

  • crossofcrimson||

    There are no such things as "constitutional rights"

  • Pained||

    Good one. I've been waiting to hear that.

    They are Constitutionally protected, God given rights that the government cannot(originally intended) take away.

  • Quiet Desperation||

    Revenus Expandico!

    (waves wand)

    There.

  • Mensan||

    OM, I think Tony is confused by usage the word raise. To a rational person his statement could be read as:
    "... the constitution expressly grants it the power to [collect] revenues."

    To a person with reading comprehension problems it could be read as:
    "... the constitution expressly grants it the power to [increase] revenues."

  • Restoras||

    Let's go back to FY2000 spending levels - I'm sure the American People can withstand that level of "pain".

    Let's go further than rescinding the "Bush" Tax Cuts (remind me please how many Dumbocrats voted for them as I am sure it afforded them all kinds of yummy goodies) and scrap the tax code completely and go with a 20% flat tax on all income earners and a 20% corporate tax rate. No deductions for charity or mortgage interest, no middle class welfare, the poor pay into their country and have skin in the game instead of just voting themselves more of other peoples money, no corporate tax goodies including rewards for failure (income tax benefit for losses - what a freakin' joke). Boom, we'll have a balanced budget and a shitload of jobs.

    Then we can tackle entitlements. I get that you don't want to be in hysterics about the deficit but that's just keeping your head firmly planted in the sand considering what has been going on in other famous welfare states lately. For the record I don't think many of us are in hysterics - we are just watching a slow motion train wreck knowing full well that no one has the balls to do anything about it - and that's fine, it's just human nature to avoid the tough decisions until the last minute, regardless of the consequences.

  • some guy||

    "How much pain can we inflict on the American people?"

    Pain? What pain? Were things really that bad back in 1999? Since then both debt and deficits have gone up immensely and what do we have to show for it? Three undending wars, 9% unemployment and a whole lot of debt. Can you honestly say all this spending has been worth it?

  • ||

    It's not gonna be painful to revert back to 1999 levels Tony and you know it. Don't be the disingenuous hack everyone says you are.

  • Tony||

    It won't be painful for anyone to return to 1999 tax levels either.

  • ||

    "Well I thik we should go back to where they were 110 years ago - so there".

    So do I, it wasn't the poor or middle class that asked for an income tax, and no, it wasn't a war either.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Whether we have a spending problem or a revenue problem is a matter of opinion.


    It's actually a matter of perspective, Tony, which you lack. The only thing you have under your total control is your spending, not your income.

    Tax rates are the lowest they've been in 60 years,[...]


    Bullshit.

    so it's not beyond the realm of reasonable opinion that they're too low.


    Too low for what?

  • Tony||

    The only thing you have under your total control is your spending, not your income.

    But we're not talking about me. Government does have total control over its own revenue. It's one of Congress's enumerated roles.

    Too low for what?

    To pay for the things we are buying.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But we're not talking about me. Government does have total control over its own revenue. It's one of Congress's enumerated roles.


    Oh, shit. "The Bible Says So, God Is!"

    To pay for the things we are buying.


    What's with this "we" business, Kimosabe? "We" are not doing anything of the kind. Government is just a group of politicians and bureaucrats - THEY are the ones doin' the buyin', NOT YOU OR ME.

  • Tony||

    Well they're using your money, so you can choose to accept democratic responsibility or continue to whine that the whole world doesn't revolve around you.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Well they're using your money, so you can choose to accept democratic responsibility or continue to whine that the whole world doesn't revolve around you.


    Something in the lines of "Put Up Or Shut Up" that rapists use all the time. I am lurking more deeply into the mind of the statist fuck the more I read your posts, Tony...

  • ||

    less than 600 people in total.

  • cynical||

    "Government does have total control over its own revenue."

    Bullshit. Legal authority, maybe (though they're still technically restricted in the types of taxes they can levy), but they can't take money that isn't there, and in a practical sense, once taxes get too high, people will just see the goverment as illegitimate and feel no moral qualms about working under the table or doing whatever they can get away with to avoid paying taxes.

  • ||

    "will?" They already 'feel no qualms about working under the table or doing whatever they can get away with to avoid paying taxes.'

  • ||

    This is the core argument that so many people who rebut the Greece-as-endgame scenario a lot of libertarians posit as a plausible outcome for the US. "But, half the people there are tax cheats!" Yes, and how do you think they got that way?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You presuppose that there is some normative rate of taxation against which the current rate must be judged.

    If the tax rate is 50% and the top 10% of taxpayers collectively generate $100 billion in taxable income, the government gets $50 billion. If the tax rate is 35% and the top 10% of taxpayers generate $143 billion in taxable income, the government gets $50 billion. If the tax rate is 25% and the top 10% generate $200 billion in taxable income, the government gets $50 billion.

    It is entirely possible - and I have not checked the data here - that because the "super rich" are making more money than ever, that the U.S. government can still generate just as much, if not more, tax revenue as it ever has, even with lower rates.

    So if the government can continue to take in just as much money as it ever did, with lower tax rates, and yet it goes on to spend more than it takes in, then it's not such an outrageous proposition that maybe the government is spending too much rather than not taxing enough.

  • Tony's mind||

    Fucking broadening the base, how does it work?

  • I see pee||

    fucking magnets, how do they work?

  • ||

    Tax *revenues* are at the highest they've been in years so the rates issue is pretty irrelevent.

    Revenues are way up, and spending is way upper. Is it your contention that no matter HOW over the top the spending gets, now matter HOW irresponsible and profligate congress is, the tax revenues are ALWAYS part of the problem?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    And how the fuck can you possibly characterize the comparison of taxes to GDP as a "dishonest talking point"? Are you truly that fucking ignorant? Measuring various factors as a percent of GDP is exactly how economists do it - you need some way to normalize the data to be able to compare apples to apples, year to year, or country to country.

    It's precisely because there is no one tax rate that is the "right" rate, neither "too low" nor "too high", that we need to develop another measure - and taxes collected as a percentage of GDP is a good measure.

  • Tony||

    This comparison is trotted out to make the asinine point that no matter what the tax rate is, revenues remain in a comparably small range as a % of GDP. But that's not comparing apples to apples. It's taking one thing (tax rates) that have varied widely on a 100-point scale and expecting another thing (revenues) to vary as much on the same scale. But nobody ever claimed that they had this relationship! The smaller changes in revenue relative to GDP are actually significant enough to be affected by tax rates. Gillespie's shtick is to say "look, roughly 18% over all this time! Tax rates don't matter!" But they do affect revenue, just not on the large scale of GDP growth over the last few decades--GDP growth being the most important factor in government revenue.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I have a different sort of question for you. I think I've heard you say you would like for the rich to be taxed at around ninety percent and that they would still take home a lot more money than the lower level employees who do all the real work so they should have nothing to complain about. I hope I haven't built any strawmen, correct me if I have. Why do want to stop at 90%? If it is true that proprieters and company presidents and CEOs and upper level management etc are less important than the production line workers who do the actual labor. Why wouldn't you want to tax the rich until they are making less than the workers, since they deserve less? Why not tax them at 99.9%? They would still have enough to live a good life wouldn't they?

    @ Tony

  • Tony||

    Here's a chart to illustrate the point.

    Revenue fluctuates over 5%! And Gillespie wants to brush it aside and make a dishonest claim about tax rates.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,
    Actually, revenues by percentage of GDP averages at 16.5% for total tax revenue. What makes up for a lower corporate tax is revenue from FICA and Income Tax.

    So, even if it fluctuates, it is clear revenue is NOT proportional to the tax rate, and never will be, because if you squeeze the throat of the prostitute too much, you end up killing her.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2.....as-of-gdp/

    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/b.....on-of-gdp/

  • Old Mexican||

    From the revenue by component chart, one can see that the revenue obtained from the Corporate tax has been DECREASING over time despite the US having one of the HIGHEST corporate tax rates in the world

    This totally correlates with the Laffer Curve as corporations can still take advantage of loopholes and tax shelters, and also explains why the shortfall is filled with FICA taxes and personal income tax. It also contradicts Tony's rosy picture of a higher tax burden delivering higher revenues for government - you end up squeezing the postitute's throat too much and killing her.

  • Doc S||

    Re: Old Mex

    Why do most of your examples have to do with rape, prostitution, murder, robbery, etc...
    Freudian slips?

    To paraphrase an earlier post of yours: I am lurking more deeply into the mind of the (maniacal, senile, paranoid nutjob) fuck the more i read your posts mex..

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Doc S,

    Why do most of your examples have to do with rape, prostitution, murder, robbery, etc... Freudian slips?


    Accurate comparisons, Doc S. Accurate comparisons. Taxing more expecting to obtain more is the same as squeezing the throat of a prostitute to get more pleasure out of her, instead of thinking that the poor soul may actually DIE. This is a perfect representation of the Laffer Curve, which places the taxation part in its moral context.

    I am lurking more deeply into the mind of the (maniacal, senile, paranoid nutjob) fuck the more i read your posts mex


    Stop wasting my time, Doc S.

  • Doc S||

    I'm sure your employer feels the same way.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Why do most of your examples have to do with rape, prostitution, murder, robbery, etc...
    Freudian slips?

    Why do you correlate rape, prostitution, murder, robbery, etc, in Old Mex's post? Projection?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It certainly isn't settled by Gillespie's continued reference to the dishonest "18% of GDP" talking point.

    A historical fact is a talking point?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Please explain, specifically, how the United States of America "screws" poor people. And please include in your answer why it is that so many poor people from other countries all over the world are willing to not only completely uproot their families and leave everything they have ever known, and in many cases literally risk their lives, to come here and be "screwed" by the U.S. government?

    More simply: you're an asshat.

  • Alan||

    I pay about 50% of my income in taxes (Federal Income, State Income, Social Security, Medicare, Property Tax, Gasoline Tax, Sales Tax, etc.)

    I make about $40K per year. I get to pay for entitlements for rich people and for corporate welfare. As an ordinary working American, I make too much to get "poor people" benefits, and too little to get "rich people" benefits. It's ordinary working Americans who pay for the excesses of the rich and the non-working poor.

  • ||

    ironically, it is the left which is most opposed to means testing, i.e. not paying social security benefits out to people who earn a certain income

    basically, the concern is that once people of a certain income level no longer benefit from a program, then they will be less likely to support it politically

    and at around $40k/year, you're in the top half of income earners, so cough it up you rich entitled fatcat!

  • WTF||

    That was actually me doing a Tony spoof - I wasn't sure if had the right level of stupid or if I went too far.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It's hard to say - because it really seems that Tony's level of stupid knowns no limit.

    You got me, anyhow.

  • fish||

    The true artist is always the most rigorous of judges.

  • ||

    Welfare to the rich should end, but you don't want that do you?

    Would you end the Fed? Energy subsidies? Ag subsidies? Higher ed subsidies? Fannie and Freddie? OSHA? The FDA?

    Nope. You think the chick making hemp reusable grocery bags should subsidize the job safety of the Koch industries cat cracker operator. You think people who believe in having a healthy lifestyle and using natural remedies should subsidize healthcare for people who who engage in risky lifestyles. You think people who save for a down payment and pinch pennies should subsidize people whose primary claim to how ownership is that they want to. You think the farmer who employs his family should subsidize some Hamptons wasp life desire for a Doctorate in Gender Studies or that farmer should subsidize the education for employees of companies that actually need someone trained in engineering, but is happy to have that cost socialized on the taxpayer.

    The reason for ever increasing income diversity is your progressive institutions shifting resources from poor to rich. Then you give back a pittance in the form of 'entitlements'.

    It's not an accident that the more 'progressive' policies we adopt the greater income diversity becomes.

    But but teachers need to be paid more!

    Then stop all these stupid programs subsidizing more teacher supply and stop any attempt at firing bad teachers. IOW privatize the damned things.

    Why is the person who is content to be a plumber subsidizing the cost of educating an attorney or wall street broker?

  • ||

    This reasoning indicates short term thinking. An education grant to help an otherwise minimum-wage worker become a more highly paid professional will pay off in additional tax revenues over the person's entire working life! Read the stats on that - never mind the disparate unemployment rates for college grads vs non-college grads.

    I certainly would like to end the subsidies for dirty energy that makes us mostly dependent on foreign sources and I support subsidies to encourage research to develop alternatives that are renewable and cheaper in the long run. That isn't profitable to oil industry which is why they have so many people thinking it's a bad thing.

    Let's cut the SEC and all the agencies looking out for investors and adopt a buyer beware/you're on your own with Wall St and see how fast the Dow crashes. The 401k was one of the major government-meddling problems in our history, though not many are talking about that - because too many are looking at that short term payoff in lower taxes. As a result, we have a casino/smoke/mirror 'capitalist' (read: bullshit) market.

    Private interests in medical research will simply not fund projects that don't have a profit payoff. Some of us value life above money - ask your anti-choicers about that.

    So, no. I don't agree that it is 'progressive' institutions shifting resources from poor to rich. That just sounds like the abuser always claiming the victim isn't doing enough for him. I've wised up. It's not the teachers bankrupting us. It's the MIC and Wall St. All the social programs combined are a pittance compared to those monsters.

  • ||

    This reasoning indicates short term thinking. An education grant to help an otherwise minimum-wage worker

    You're accusing me of short term thinking, wrongly, and you're engaging in entirely short term thinking.

    This is what results from economic ignorance.

    Subsidizing education drives up costs. The long term result is that the subsidies get eaten up by the accumulated inefficiency/dead weight.

    The subsidy we pay now to educate people is not only mitigated by the increase in costs, the subsidy doesn't even account for cost inflation above par.

    Put another way, we've destroyed the education market to the extent that the the cost minus the subsidy is higher than what would have been without a subsidy.

    We're paying a subsidy and getting nothing. This happens everywhere we subsidize something. Health care. Credit, mortgage especially. The auto industry. Insurance. Big ag.

    If we judge by results the point of progressivism is to shift resources from the poor to the rich. It does that well.

    The rich recipients being the agents and the participants of the program or agency. In education it's the professors who are earning highly subsidized salaries to burden children with debt for degrees which are likely worthless.

    And if you subsidize it more? You'll just cause the cost to go up more.

    Long term, and results, is exactly what progressives want to ignore.

  • ||

    What welfare does the rich receive? I earn more than my bare needs, and I receive nothing. I'm up a tax bracket and I have to pay in for those who don't have my ambition and drive.

  • ||

    It's possible but unlikely that you don't receive any 'welfare', depending on your job, etc.

    If you own a home, drive a car, have health insurance from your employer, got a degree, use a bank, eat food.. there's little in the economy that doesn't receive some subsidy, direct or indirect.

    Now the people closest to the subsidy get the most.

    The problem is of course your net benefit is far far lower than if you actually paid your full share directly. I'm not saying you shouldn't avail yourself of this, or could choose not even if you wanted to in many cases. But redistribution is endemic to our economy, and redistribution is the problem, economically, and ethically.

  • ||

    OM,

    Predicting what boring old Tony would say...not that impressive. Challenge yourself man, set the bar higher.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mainer,

    I sometimes enjoy turning over rocks just to see what comes out...

  • ||

    sometimes ?

  • Otto||

    [Steven] King recently told a Florida rally, "As a rich person, I'm paying 28 percent in taxes. What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?"

    Don't know, Stevie, but if you want to give me back the $4.95 I spent on It, I'll take it.

  • Realist||

    I kind of agree with Stevie King. Rich liberals should be taxed 100%.

  • Stephen King||

    Don't know, Stevie, but if you want to give me back the $4.95 I spent on It, I'll take it.

    ... but... but: that's MY money!

  • Brett L||

    Fuck that. How about the $23.75 I spent on the 7th book of the Gunslinger series. Give it back to me in nickels so I can shove them up his ass. No, wait. I swore to never give him any more money, so I'll just take the refund.

  • Dean Koontz||

    Give it back to me in nickels so I can shove them up his ass.

    ... *sigh*... some writers have all the luck...

  • fish||

    People are still reading Stephen King?

    Geez not since the late eighties if you had any sense.

  • Otto||

    You're right - It came out in the early 1980's, and after that, I only read a collection of short stories (he probably can still do okay on those) and Needful Things, both of which I got free, and the latter convincing me to never read anything else he wrote.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Well, he did write Gerald's Game, Dolores Claiborne, and The Green Mile in the 90's. I don't think he's written anything really good since then. A few OK novels, but nothing very memorable.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    It's been twenty-five years -- a quarter of a friggin' century -- since Stephen King has contributed anything worthwhile to the horror genre.

    Robert McCammon, Dan Simmons, Joe R. Lansdale, Dan Wells, Tom Piccirilli and Jonathan Mayberry (just for starters, mind you) for the good stuff, nowadays.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    King recently told a Florida rally, "As a rich person, I'm paying 28 percent in taxes. What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?"

    Will whichever Reason reader is currently holding that brave, suffering Mr. King's hapless family members hostage at bayonet point -- thereby bodily preventing him from vaulting athletically towards his checkbook, in a frenzied, noble effort to hand over one-half of everything he has ever owned to the poor, underfed U.S. government -- please, please kindly stand back, and allow the man to freakin' GIVE, already -- ?!?

  • ||

    Why doesn't someone in the audience, or wherever someone like King is when they say shit like this, just shout out "what's stopping you from paying 50% right now?"

    I imagine the spluttering from the speaker would be awesome to behold.

  • Stephen King||

    Hey! I'm not going all in alone. That would make me a sucker!

    Oh.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Exactly.

    "What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?"

    Because you chose not to write the check, you disingenuous fuck. Your real question is, apparently, why aren't those other guys being forced to pay 50%?

  • Ray Ray||

    It's so funny how liberals are so dumbfounded by the idea of voluntary charity, and yet proclaim to be the ones who "care about the children and the old people and the poor." If you are a rich douchebag who feels guilty for being a rich douchebag, go donate.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    A lot of "liberals" wouldn't even touch charity unless some fucker they metaphorically blow on a daily basis wasn't pointing guns at them. They get off on that stuff, because the whole of society is under the barrel. They masturbate furiously to this shit.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Secretary of state and cattle-futures queen Hillary Clinton, super-investor Warren Buffett, and best-selling author Stephen King have all recently carped about how rich folks like them should be paying more in taxes. King recently told a Florida rally, "As a rich person, I'm paying 28 percent in taxes. What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?"

    I'm quite sure that the United States Treasury would be more than happy to accept any donation checks that any of these characters want to write.

    If they don't think they are taxed enough, they are perfecty free to voluntarily recalculate their taxes using their own preferred higher tax rate and write another check to the U.S. Treasury for the difference.

    But of course, not a single one of them is going to do anything like that.

    Instead they are going to grandstand and play to the media about how "magnanimous" and "civic minded" they are by jawbowing for the government to force OTHER PEOPLE to pay more.

  • Realist||

    It's called guilt...those who work for their money don't have it!

  • Old Mexican||

    Since 1950, revenue from all sources has averaged around 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product, despite top tax rates that have fluctuated from over 90% to the high 20% range. Regardless of all efforts to jack up revenue (or reduce it), that's what the government can expect to work with.


    Those greedy rich, hiding their wealth so the greedy tax man can't get to it!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business.....669&page=1

    What these econonics illiterates can't seem to fathom is that a) Money ain't wealth, it's only part of it; and b) There is wealth you can't tax.

    Wealth is whatever ONE chooses to be. I can consider myself wealthy for having my family, my friends, my computers, all my Call of Duty games, me gold...

  • T||

    Your Lucky Charms...

  • ||

    Just the yellow moons. Pink hearts and green clovers are down 34% on NASDAQ.

  • Quiet Desperation||

    I tried to corner the Blue Diamond market, but some DeBeers goons kidnapped my cat until I stopped.

  • ||

    Aside from the fact that it's unfair to take money from people to give it to others, there's also the fact that the government is notoriously inefficient, corrupt, and ineffective in how it spends money. Thus, high tax rates are both immoral and useless. Useless to those of us not in government, anyway.

    If I made $3 million/year, why is it okay for the rest of you to be able to steal $1 - 1.5 million from me? What's the moral justification for that? There isn't one. It's just might makes right.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pro Libertate,

    What's the moral justification for that?


    You may want to posit that question t MNG - his ethics are conveniently very pliable.

  • ||

    It's the Willy Sutton justification.

  • Tony||

    "If I made $3 million/year, why is it okay for the rest of you to be able to steal $1 - 1.5 million from me? What's the moral justification for that?"
    Because I need it and I want it.

  • Realist||

    Because they are usually intelligent.

  • Warty||

    Why Aren't The Rich Paying 50 Percent in Income Taxes?

    I carpool to jiu-jitsu with a guy who gets his opinions from Rachel Maddow and that one Turkish dude, Cenk Whats-his-name. He asked me a version of the above question, and I countered with, "Why aren't the rich, and everyone else, paying 0%?" His head asploded.

    Eat the Rich

  • ||

    How you liking bjj? Are your ears holding up? I got a nice knob on one of mine, and tried to pierce it, but no dice. I may need to start wearing a scrum cap. I don't want cauliflower ears.

  • Warty||

    It's coming up on a year since I started, so I sometimes manage to tap people when I'm rolling, which always feels awesome. Like I stole something and got away with it.

    One ear got real sore and swelled up huge at one point, but then it went back down with only a little knob to show for it. Which is good, because while I don't care if I get fucked-up ears, I don't want it to happen until I'm good. That would be like false advertising.

    Ears are a funny thing. Some dudes, like Royler, do it all their lives without getting cauliflower ears, but other dudes look like Randy Couture by the time they're blue belts.

  • ||

    Yeah, I just don't want my ears to look like the underside of a diner table. But you're right, my sensei is a beast and his ears look completely normal. He's said in the past that he doesn't let them get swollen though.

  • ||

    It's simple: Don't get hit.

  • Warty||

  • Otto||

    "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!"

  • Pip||

    Why April 18th this year? April 15th is on a Friday, so what gives?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Special D.C. holiday. No shit.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Yes. Here it is:
    Emancipation Day. Kind of ironic, no?

  • ||

    That is fucking cruel.

  • Ice Nine||

    Oh, OK. I thought you were just confused about Mothers Day.

  • Brett L||

    Patriots Day is Monday. Why do they hate patriots? Oh. Never mind.

  • Dagny||

    Maybe they changed it so Atlas Shrugged would not open on Tax Day?

  • ||

    USPS didn't want to have all hands on deck for a Saturday.

  • Baby Giraffe||

    What I would really like to know is how much money this hypocritical, lying scumbag Buffett pays each year in order to minimize his tax burden. I bet it would make the average person's hair curl.

  • Brett L||

    Paging robc, robc to the white courtesy phone. Please to say your line now.

  • ||

    I had a conversation with a lefty Obamaton friend of mine that not only have revenues reached all time highs under the current tax rates (2007 was the highest), but the portion of revenues paid by the rich is higher as well.

    Even after we looked it up together he simply refused to believe it. There's only one thing he knows, taxes need to be higher no matter what.

  • Tony||

    Yeah in unadjusted dollars right before the recession. Revenue tends to follow GDP. The question is whether revenue would have been higher (say high enough to pay for Bush's massive useless spending) without the tax cuts. Even Bush's own economists say yes, because it's obvious.

  • fish||

    I always pay close attention to what an english lit/womens studies major has to say about finance.

    Please tell me more. Please.

  • Tony||

    I'm informed enough to know that this Austrian bullshit accepted as God's Truth in these parts isn't taken seriously by real economists.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I'm informed enough to know that this Austrian bullshit accepted as God's Truth in these parts isn't taken seriously by real economists.


    Those would be the same "real" economists that did NOT see the crisis coming or that pronosticated no more than 8% unemployment once the stimulus was implemented.

    That bunch. You know, "real."

  • fish||

    The Feds house bitchez aren't real economists....lord knows they managed to miss the majority of the troubles that the economy of presently laboring under. It's fascinating to watch how quickly they abandon the party line once they leave the payroll.

    No matter. I think you'll get your way eventually and they will jack the tax rate up significantly. You'll lose again as people who formerly strove to be productive don't strive nearly so much. Revenues will fall further and hey lets be honest the spending trajectory only points one way so the problems will only get worse. Pretty soon someone will float a proposal to tax "wealth"...not income...and just this once. The "wealthy" will begin to bail in earnest (you won't be able to stop them and they have the resources to escape. Plus they are oh so much smarter and are so much more nimble than the bureaucrats that pull the levers of state you put so much faith in.) Wash, rinse, repeat a few times and you have North Cuba populated by whole hordes of Peggy Josephs.

    It's not sad that your model society is doomed to failure. It's that you are so ignorant that you don't recognize it that's charming.

    Don,t you have an 8:30 Feminist Dance Therapy class you're about to miss?

  • Tony||

    What's with this feminist crap? I am on record being totally uncomfortable around females, which is fine for me since I have no interest in penetrating them.

    Sorry if I don't accept tax policy based on the extortionate threats of the wealthy. Maybe freeloading assholes who don't want to contribute to this society shouldn't be allowed to sell their products in it. How about that?

  • fish||

    The spoof is strong in this one!

  • Obama Voters||

    "freeloading assholes who don't want to contribute to this society"

    Hey!

  • Mensan||

    No, not you. By "freeloading assholes" he means anybody who produces value.

  • Ray Pew||

    Sorry if I don't accept tax policy based on the extortionate threats of the wealthy. Maybe freeloading assholes who don't want to contribute to this society shouldn't be allowed to sell their products in it. How about that?

    Sounds brilliant!!! Nothing benefits people more than having less goods to satisfy their needs and wants.

    That'll show those rich bastards.

  • fish||

    I'm not buying the "I'm gay" nonsense...All the gay guys I know are too smart to spout this line of bilge!

  • ||

    Maybe freeloading assholes who don't want to contribute to this society shouldn't be allowed to sell their products in it. How about that?

    Exhibit # 497 as to why I'm becoming less and less of a minarchist and more of an anarchist, every day.

    I wonder how long it will take leftist tuff gais like Tony to piss their pants if the hoi polloi ever get tired of being abused and push back?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Hitler had gay socialists among his bodyguards in the SA. Until Himmler found out.

  • Contrarian P||

    Yes, please Tony. Take away all the products that I use in my daily life just so you can settle whatever score it is that you have with the wealthy. Your ability to smear people as "freeloading assholes who don't want to contribute to this society" who are actually paying virtually all of the taxes is amazing. I'd say that label applies much more closely to those who take money from government programs such as the earned income tax credit, which makes them a net drain on society. Perhaps the root of the problem is that the "rich" don't want to contribute to your vision of what society should be, which is why you are so angry at them. You don't believe that they should have any input into how their money gets spent once it's in the hands of your ilk. They should just keep working and risking capital so they can prop up whatever programs you like. That others might have different priorities or thoughts about what the government should do never enters your mind.

  • ||

    Hahaha. The productive are the freeloaders all of a sudden. You are too awesome today.

  • Tony||

    Hahaha libertarians think wealth = virtue as usual.

  • fish||

    Hahah Tony thinks the "state" = virtue as usual.

  • Mensan||

    Tony|4.8.11 @ 11:24AM|#
    I'm informed enough to know that this Austrian bullshit accepted as God's Truth in these parts isn't taken seriously by [true Scotsmen].
  • ||

    You can't even see Austrian economics from where we are right now!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Dude, you can't even do basic fucking math. Don't even bother trying to spout off about economics.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Even Bush's own economists say yes, because it's obvious.


    "The question is if by squeezing her throat more and not less, you obtain more pleasure. It is obvious you will!"
    "Uh, dude, won't that kind of kill her?"
    "Bush's economists said 'no,' and I believe them!"

  • ||

    "The question is whether revenue would have been higher"

    Higher than all-time highest revenues? So what, why do they need to be higher? Spending is climbing even faster and you keep thinking the problem is that they aren't taking *enough* from us. They are never going to be able to take enough. No matter how much they take they will spend more and they will always have a an army of useful idiots bleating that cuts in spending are an immoral an unnecessary austere measure.

    They'd suck the blood right out of you if they could.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why Aren't The Rich Paying 50 Percent in Income Taxes?

    Because they didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks to the government!

    (Only to candidates.)

    (Koch Brothers, I'm looking at you.)

  • Doc S||

    If I was rich I'd buy an island and you wouldnt have to pay taxes.
    Plus they're relatively cheap!
    http://www.privateislandsonlin.....island.htm

  • ||

    I think Reinmoose has already gone to Rainbow Puppy Island. Hopefully he's fired up the grill and ordered the hookers and blow.

  • GroundTruth||

    If Hillary, Warren and Steven want to give more of their money to the Feds, they are free to do so.

  • Mad Scientist||

    I've got a plan that should make everyone happy. Let's just institute a 50% tax on Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffet, and Steven King.

  • ||

    "The top 1 percent of filers pay about 40 percent of income taxes."

    ************************

    .....aaaaand we're done!

    I know I can stop reading whenever I hit a sentence like this one. The tax burden in the U.S. is a combination of a dizzying variety of flat, progressive and regressive taxes at the federal, state, and local level. When you net them all together, the tax burden is flat at best, and probably slightly regressive. Any writer who fails to acknowledge this fact and who tries to isolate federal income tax from all the other taxes in assessing our tax burden is just blowing smoke up your @$$ as deserves no further attention.

    Buh-bye now.

  • sevo||

    Danny|4.8.11 @ 12:28PM|#
    "The top 1 percent of filers pay about 40 percent of income taxes."
    ************************
    .....aaaaand we're done!
    I know I can stop reading whenever I hit a sentence like this one."

    Yes, those facts are just so hard to square with fantasies!

    ------------------------------

    "Buh-bye now."
    Please let the door hit you in the ass.

  • ||

    Wow.

    What a come-back, sevo.

    You really proved your point... by not having one.

  • sevo||

    Danny|4.8.11 @ 1:05PM|#
    "Wow.
    What a come-back, sevo."

    Wow.

    Way to address those facts you ignored earlier, danny.

    You really proved your point... by continuing to ignore them.

  • ||

    It is incumbent upon you to particularize said "facts" you deem "ignored."

    I put the author's oh-so-conveniently isolated "fact" of the distribution of the federal income tax into the context of the overall tax burden in the country. Nothing was thereby ignored. The flatness/regressivity of the overall tax burden is the only "fact" being "ignored," and it is being ignored by you.

    You are a fool and a knave. You are rejected and unloved and you obsess on these message boards for succor and attention you cannot get in your "real life." It is at this juncture, where you have no answers, no arguments, and no points to make, that you will resort to obscenities, name-calling and empty mockery. You are nothing but a gumball machine: I put a coin in, and out pops the same stale gumball every time.

  • sevo||

    Danny|4.8.11 @ 3:26PM|#
    "It is incumbent upon you to particularize said "facts" you deem "ignored.""
    Simple: "The top 1 percent of filers pay about 40 percent of income taxes."
    ------------------------
    "I put the author's oh-so-conveniently isolated "fact" of the distribution of the federal income tax into the context of the overall tax burden in the country....."
    parsed:
    'I changed the subject in the hopes that fact would be ignored. And them made claims minus any support at all'.
    ----------------
    "You are a fool and a knave."
    You're an egocentric, ignorant asshole who deserves every bit of derision heaped upon you.
    And, may the door hit you in such a way as to cause irreparable damage, dipshit.

  • ||

    "Support?" You want proof, eh?

    Start with this:

    http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/pubs.....idence.pdf

    Note that it was written before the Bush cuts made the system a lot less progressive.

    Now it's time for you to admit how stupid you are.

  • sevo||

    Danny|4.8.11 @ 4:30PM|#
    "Support?" You want proof, eh?
    Start with this:
    http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/pubs.....idence.pdf"

    From the cite:
    "The federal income tax is one of the most progressive elements of the US tax system.” Not to mention the largest tax burden.
    So, yeah, sales tax doesn't make lefty propellers spin, but pennies only count when you ignore dollars.
    --------------------------
    "Note that it was written before the Bush cuts made the system a lot less progressive."
    You bet! Probably changed the bias by, oh, .005% or so.
    -----------------------------
    "Now it's time for you to admit how stupid you are."
    After you paste yourself in the face again?
    Oh, and why not promise to go away again? It's so appealing in a dipshit.

  • ||

    God. This must have been what it felt like to teach Helen Keller sign language.

    From the paper:

    "Recent changes to the federal income tax should not be analyzed in isolation but rather as part of the entire U.S. tax system. The progressiveness or regressiveness of any particular tax is not nearly as important as the incidence of the entire tax system. Using the tax progressivity index, this paper shows that the U.S. tax system is composed of both progressive and regressive taxes. Overall, right now the U.S. tax system is slightly progressive. The progressiveness of the U.S. tax system in 2000 was at a similar level to that during the 1970s, although progressiveness has not remained constant and has been impacted by legislation. The recent Bush tax cuts have made the federal income tax, and thus the entire U.S. tax system, less progressive, particularly if the sunset provisions in the tax cuts are extended or made permanent. There is a possibility that even this small degree of progressiveness could be eliminated from the U.S. tax system in the future. Making state or federal social insurance taxes more regressive, or making the federal income tax less progressive, could be sufficient to make the entire U.S. tax system regressive."

    I'm pretty sure that passage was within even your weak reading comprehension, so now you will have to fall back on your trick of last resort: deliberate, insincere obtuseness and avoidance.

  • Esteban||

    Oh god, not my alma mater, Tufts, which is apparently looking to make a class in social justice mandatory for all freshmen. Never getting my donations if that happens.

  • ||

    Yes, Esteban, Tufts. That bastion of radicalism. Coming up with such insidious ideas as: "progressive taxes and regressive taxes netted against each other can yield something near a flat tax burden." Frightening, isn't it?

    Witholding alumni donations based on political disagreement. What an original idea!!! I'll bet they never heard that one before.

  • bart||

    This progressivity seems to be a matter of religious faith to you. That's ok. I have a good friend who feels the same way.

    I can never understand why in a purely hypothetical discussion, one would not admit that if we COULD actually get rid of loopholes and the rich paid the same % as everyone else, (long sentence) why it would not be ok that if you made 10x as much you paid 10x as much. If you make 100x as much you pay 100x as much. You could even have a floor below which the poor paid NO taxes, but still my friend is so bull-headed he won't admit that this might be a better system, hypothetically, than having a mish-mash of federal, state, and local taxes with some progressive, some regressive that distort capital (i.e. waste money) and allow the rich to use their tax lawyers and accountants to avoid paying some of it. This is not even a libertarian argument, just common sense, but apparently, some people like the word progressive so much they want their taxes that way too. Leads to PROGRESS ya know.

  • Tony||

    With the qualification that our system is nearly flat as Danny explains, any such scheme that reduces progressivity means, by definition, that the poor pay more and the rich pay less. What about the economic status quo in the US makes you think that is either economically or morally justified? Not enough poor people for you?

  • ||

    I favor a single, unified tax on income, flat above a zero bracket, to replace all other taxes. But that means FLAT ALL THE WAY UP and replacing ALL other taxes without exception.

  • ||

    nonsense

  • ||

    ?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The tax burden in the U.S. is a combination of a dizzying variety of flat, progressive and regressive taxes at the federal, state, and local level. When you net them all together, the tax burden is flat at best, and probably slightly regressive.

    What are you bitching about? This is the end result of the progressive mentality that society needs to be engineered into utopia. The ridiculous system of taxes, fees, and penalties was the inevitable fate of a philosophy that valued complexity and fashion over sustainability.

    There's nothing more pathetic than a progressive who cries about the failure of our "leaders" to solve the problems created by the policies progressives promoted for decades.

  • Dear Danny,||

    You'll never read this but:
    OECD study, "Growing Unequal"

    U.S. has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world. Merely because we rely on an income tax instead of high payroll and national sales taxes.

    Buh-bye now.

  • sevo||

    Didn't see a "Morning Links", but here's a great story on the other Government Motors suing because someone was honest in a review:

    "In the real world, it [Tesla] absolutely doesn't work," concluded Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson..."
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....6647&tsp=1

  • Nipplemancer||

    I foresee many Tesla jokes when Top Gear returns next year.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that any new revenues from higher taxes will not go to pay down the deficit. They would go to new spending, and I bet the deficit would only grow larger.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "As a rich person, I'm paying 28 percent in taxes. What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying 50?"

    Because you're too lazy to break out your checkbook any time of the year but tax time.

    Now, PAY UP.

    Gifts to the United States
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782

  • mdb||

    You should really preface Warren Buffet with "death tax shelter king"

  • Tony||

    This guy and his blog have to be an elaborate hoax.

    I don't hate rich people, btw. In fact I prefer hanging out with them to hanging out with poor people, because they have better wine.

  • ||

    I know what you're talking about. I'm also in the industry. I hate how poor people put out cigarettes in their wine glasses - what a waste!

  • Richard Nous||

    I would love to see the GOP pass a Bill that taxes only the "rich people" on record saying they should be taxed more see Kerry, Buffet, Gates etc....

    The GOP is just not clever enough though.

  • Sudden||

    Jesus Christ, here's all that needs to be said:

    The federal govt could annex every fucking dollar over $250k in earned income in this country and the resulting money in that year would be $1.412 trillion. That would not even cover our entire deficit this year. And the GDP in this country would shrink considerably without all of that money being invest in the following year, and then we'd be back to square one... and square one is fucked:

    Fucking Budget Math, how does it work?

  • Reprehensible Progressive||

    But, but, but, at least it would be FAIR!!! Kochtopus! Monocles!

  • Doc S||

    And then give it to me so i can spend it all on hookers and blow, that will jumpstart the economy.

  • Bubbles||

    Liquor and whores for me, please.

  • waffles||

    As a new firearm owner, everytime I don't rob someone at gunpoint I consider it an act of extreme generosity, or welfare. I imagine the government feels much the same way when they choose not to increase taxes.

  • Mensan||

    Stephen King makes less than $171,850? I've read that he's worth like $200 million. That estimate is insanely high if he's only bringing in low six figures annually.

  • ||

    "..cattle futures queen Hillary Clinton."
    Tee hee. Delicious. But 155 posts and nobody commented on that choice bit of snarkiness?!

  • fish||

    Been done to death.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    If these people wish to pay 50% of their income to the federal government, and compel themselves to do so upon the supposition that they owe their servants some sort of debt, they are free to do so. Idiots are at liberty to be idiots, as ironic as that may seem.

    Governments (federal, state, and local) should be minuscule entities with very few specific, enumerated, limited morally justifiable powers that enforce contracts, prevent fraud, and punish violence. That's it.

    Free men pay taxes only for morally justifiable purposes, like national defense (national defense means national defense, not adventurism and interventionism and neo-conservative notions of imperialism) and a judicial system. And maybe prisons. And that's it. There is nothing further to discuss.

    The DEA, FDA, TSA, D of Education, D of Energy, EPA, and the vast majority of these sorts of abominations require immediate abolition. "Rich" people shouldn't pay any more than a very, very tiny percent of their income, and neither should anybody else.

    With all undue respect, Stephen King, Hillary Clinton, and Warren Buffett can suck my balls, crawl into a pile of camel shit, and do the world a colossal favor by drowning their sorry, worthless, unworthy-of-atmospheric-oxygen asses in it.

    It's also painfully hilarious that some people still cling to the notion that liberty-loving constitutionalists/libertarians/minarchists are a "silent majority". The majority of Americans aren't even close to that, if the direction of our nation and its political discourse is any indication.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    *considering the potential for abuse for even extremely low tax rates and how few any justifiable expenditures would be, the current tax system needs to be totally eliminated.

  • ||

    Your argument might be correct if information was perfect, there was no such thing as externalities, no firms had market power, all important values had the purchasing power to back them up, and there was no free rider or prisoners dilemma problem. Unfortunately, there are all of the above. Have you ever read Ch.9 in The Road to Serfdom, BTW?

  • Invisible Finger||

    If we taxed Stephen King even more, he'd just write more books to make up the difference. By my calculations, the world has over 200 more Stephen King books than necessary precisely because we tax him too highly already.

    I say we tax him at zero and maybe he'll stop writing and talking altogether.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    What's funny is how patently obvious the decrease in creativity is if you read a reasonable portion of his collective work; it becomes less interesting, witless, and long-winded.

    When you're a writer, it's better to be the lone inventor in his basement that manufactures low quantities of high-spec,unique super-computers than a mass-producing factory that makes a whole bunch of MS DOS-era as-of-this-era worthless cubes of shit that wouldn't even compete with a modern calculator.

    Stephen King is the latter.

  • Alan||

    A better question is, why ARE working class Americans paying 50% of their income in taxes?

    Whenever I mention the fact on an internet forum that I pay roughly 50% of my income in taxes (Federal income, State income, Property tax, Gasoline tax, Social Security, Medicare, etc.) liberals dismiss me as being "rich" and therefore not worthy of a voice - but in fact I make less than $40K per year, and paying 50% of income in taxes is not a feature of the rich or the poor but of ordinary, middle class Americans.

  • Alan||

    A better question is, why ARE working class Americans paying 50% of their income in taxes?

    Whenever I mention the fact on an internet forum that I pay roughly 50% of my income in taxes (Federal income, State income, Property tax, Gasoline tax, Social Security, Medicare, etc.) liberals dismiss me as being "rich" and therefore not worthy of a voice - but in fact I make less than $40K per year, and paying 50% of income in taxes is not a feature of the rich or the poor but of ordinary, middle class Americans.

  • ||

    a better question would be "why arn' the rich paying 90%?"

  • ||

    a better question would be "why arn' the rich paying 90%?"

  • Apostate Jew||

    "Tax Day (April 18) is fast approaching, which means anxiety and night sweats for about 99 percent of us."

    Nobody likes paying taxes but that's just silly. If you're sweating paying your taxes, you're doing it wrong.

  • Tncm||

    This is somewhat unrelated to the article, but it's truly remarkable how far Stephen King has fallen in terms of writing ability, and this is coming from someone who has read at least twenty of his novels. "Under the Dome" was one of the most atrociously bad works of fiction that I've ever read in my life. I hear word that he's publishing another Leviathan novel in a few months, and I'm debating whether I'll give what used to be my favorite author one last shot.

    Briefly scanning my collection now, all of his best novels were typically the ones where he didn't try to out-Lovecraft H.P. Lovecraft. I haven't found a single person, on or off the Internet, who has been able to translate the last hundred pages of "It" into something intelligible.

  • Big pony||

    I like what you have said,it is really helpful to me,thanks!

  • J||

    *calendar

  • ||

    The bottom 47% pay $0.00 and I'm fucking suck of being in the 53% supporting the parasites.

  • ||

    No wonder someone tried to run King over. *hides*

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I'm late to the party here, though I did talk about King on FB.

    King is only paying 28% if he has some grand tax avoidance scheme that his accountants put together.

    The 28% bracket ends at around 250K. Anybody believe that King only gets 250k in royalties a year?

    Send a check, Steve.

  • Yet another Dave||

    It's been said that liberals are very generous people .... when it's other people's money they're spending. And this article shows that to be true - all these liberals whining that they aren't paying more in taxes, when, if they were truly motivated to do so, they could on an individual basis, except that it's *other people* they really want to be taxed at the higher rate.

    And the part that Tony doesn't seem to be aware of is that Congress has a bad habit of writing rubber checks regardless of what the tax revenue situation actually is. Yeah, they can raise the taxes, but it seems like every time they do, they then start thinking they've got even more money to play with, and so the spending rates go up, and the debt stays the same or continues to grow. Raise the taxes now, with this administration and this Congress, and what we're looking at would be more "economic stimulus" programs, or possibly troops deployed to all those other places ruled by despots that those opposed to the Libyan invasion use to argue why we don't need to be there.

    Unlike many libertarians, I honestly don't mind paying taxes. Might be because I work for the government and I like being paid for my services, but I see taxes as a necessary evil. Runaway spending, however, is not.

    If Congress wants to raise my taxes, they need to pony up fist and make a lot deeper and more sincere cuts than what they're showing now. If they want to significantly cut rates, and if I can see news reporters talking about how the deficit is going down instead of up as a result, then I for one wouldn't mind paying a little more to drag it down even faster.

    Does the Congress need help figuring out what to cut? I for one would think a good start is to cut most welfare programs, both for the rich and the poor. Lets be realistic, the government is really bad at welfare (amongst a bunch of other things). There's so much red tape, and even with all the rules and regulations, people still get through the cracks to get help they don't rate while others with legitimate need get passed over. Not to mention that the administrative overhead is so high, if the government were a charity, I'd never voluntarily donate to them (but again, wealthy liberals like King are more than welcome to if they feel so motivated). I'd rather give my money to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or any number of other organizations that actually manage to get most of the funds they take in to the people who actually need them. The government needs to do only that which only a government can do, and get out of the businesses that so many others do and do so much better.

  • jcrue||

    If Stephen King thinks he should be paying 50% why doesn't he just write the check? No one is preventing him from sending as much of his money as he wants to the government. What he wants is people to be compelled to have their money taken from them.

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  • ||

    As citizens, we are all obliged to pay taxes. The problem is how the paying of taxes is determined. If it is based on the economical status of the people, therefore, the rich ones should be the ones that are paying more. Let me hear your sentiments regarding this issue at http://ithinkrevolution.com.

  • Davey||

    Yeah! just listen to a nobel prize winning economist!

    http://www.vanityfair.com/soci.....ent-201105

  • Little L||

    Dear Reason:
    I would just like to say that if Ms. Clinton, Mr. Buffet and Mr. King would like to pay more taxes and are not able to, then I would suggest that they make a donation to Plan Parenthood. Let me know what you think at my log www.waronnothing.blogspot.com. Sincerely, Little L

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  • candy toy||

    yes,As citizens, we are all obliged to pay taxes. The problem is how the paying of taxes is determined.

  • قبلة الوداع||

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