Why Aren't The Rich Paying 50% in Taxes?

French President Francois Hollande's vow to impose a 75 percent marginal tax rate on those making more than €1 million a year is not sitting well with the moneyed class.  Even Will Smith balked at the news. Unfortunately, as our 2011 ReasonTV video can attest, appeals to force the rich to pay their "fair share" are not confined to Europe. 

Here is the original text from the April 9, 2011 video:

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

And bitching and moaning by those at the top of the income pyramid about how they aren't forced to pay more in 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?"

Such rhetorical questions miss the point 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. So despite 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 can always pay more in taxes to retire federal debt held by the public. Just go to http://treasurydirect.gov 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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  • Mike M.||

    Yep, the biggest liars on the face of the earth are these liberal jackasses who sanctimoniously pretend that they love paying taxes when they hate it just like all the rest of us do.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    No kidding. I just don't get the "logic" of advocating for more taxes. To everyone and their left toe spending is the issue, yet, here's the left actually screaming into the blind wind begging the government take money they earned.

    King. Shut up and go cut a cheque to the government then.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    They don't want to pay more taxes, they want you to pay more taxes.

  • coma44||

    Exactly, cause they already have 100 ways to hide money so when the 75% on the rich is not enough....the 60% thry steal from the middle class will feel like a "break" for the unwashed masses....Right?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why aren't the wealthy (however defined today) giving 110%? That would teach them to engage in various forms of commerce! If the fire trucks are going to get to their houses faster than mine and the roadways they drive on ride nicer than those I have to use, then fuck 'em. Pony up, bitches.

    Clinton, King and Buffett know pandering. They'll be spared the guillotine.

  • PapayaSF||

    Buffett is an especially egregious example, given that he is fighting to IRS about $1 billion in taxes they say one of his companies owes.

    Also, the higher the taxes on the rich, the more likely they are to buy certain kinds of insurance policies that one of his other companies just happens to sell.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Berkshire wins all its disputes with the IRS.

    And the IRS never said it was a billion - some wingnut rag made that claim.

  • PapayaSF||

    So it's "only" for hundreds of millions?

  • Atreides||

    Shouldn't you have left, or at least switched your troll name, after the last time someone gave you the answer from Berkshire Hathaway's own annual reports?

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/07.....nt_3143325

    I'm almost starting to think you're arguing in bad faith. Almost.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I'm almost starting to think you're arguing in bad faith.

    You must be new here.

  • Ted S.||

    Why aren't the wealthy (however defined today) giving 110%?

    It didn't even work in Sweden

  • ||

    "calender"

    Is that what's used to make the electron sheet (e-paper) for online printing?

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    It's pronounced colander.

  • ||

    Libertarian lander: "land on your own, buddy; I assert my right to be left alone".

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    If the (arbitrarily deemed) "rich" have to pay fifty percent of their income in taxes, then the income tax rate for everyone should be fifty percent. Flat tax or no tax. Fair is fair.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I would support a flat tax with an exemption on the first $25,000 or so of income.

    No deductions allowed.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Then people who made $25,000 are still mathematically getting a better deal than those who made less. If you are making up to $25,000 (or any arbitrarily determined exempt able amount of income), and you are "poor" at that amount, then paying whatever a reasonable flat income tax rate is (something like 10% should be adequate) will not make a significant difference in your quality of life anyway.

    Absolute no deductions flat tax or no tax.

  • Tybus||

    I could go with a 25k exemption so long as you're required to bring proof of payment to the voting booth. No pay no vote.

  • RyanXXX||

    Oh, are you one of those libertarians who gets pissed that poor people don't pay enough taxes?

    Ron Paul had it right. People not paying taxes is a GOOD thing. All deductions, exemptions, and cuts should be encouraged

  • RyanXXX||

    Given a choice between raising poor people's taxes in the name of fairness, or cutting their taxes but creating an "unfair" tax system, the choice is clear.

    It's like saying since you're the victim of a rape, everyone else should be raped too

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If you're making $25K a 10% income tax hit is not insignificant.

  • PapayaSF||

    Everybody should pay something, even if it's $50. Everybody should have some skin in the game.

  • some guy||

    Everybody does pay something. If you work at all you pay into Medicare and Social Security. Then there are excise taxes (gas, telephones, alcohol, etc). Then there are indirect taxes you pay whenever you buy something. (Most) companies must profit, and so they build their taxes into their pricing.

    Everybody has some skin in the game. Few realize just how much.

  • ||

    If you work at all
    If you work at all
    If you work at all
    If you work at all
    If you work at all

    There are many who don't work at all.

  • Archimedes||

    Exxon Mobil earned $73B in 2011 and paid a 2% tax rate, which Mitt Romney's accountant describes as "exorbitant" #t

  • Cytotoxic||

    Lies.

  • Drake||

    Archimedes - Whoever told you that is a liar, and you are a fool to believe it. Check your bullshit before spewing it here.

    Exxon's 2011 Net Income was $34.78 Billion. They paid $15.12 Billion in income taxes. That puts them in the neighborhood of 43% (not that all of it was U.S. federal income tax). They also expensed about $60 billion in sales taxes and tariffs.

    http://thomson.mobular.net/thomson/7/3184/4612/

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    wrong - Exxon paid 17% in INCOME taxes that year.

    http://thinkprogress.org/clima.....s-in-2011/

    The bulk of what you see is gasoline taxes paid at the pump they collected.

    They also report employee FICA taxes as "taxes paid". They are shameless in their spin.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 8.12.12 @ 10:31PM |#
    "wrong - Exxon paid 17% in INCOME taxes that year."

    hey, idiot, what is cherry-picking paying these days?
    See:
    "That puts them in the neighborhood of 43% (not that all of it was U.S. federal income tax)"

  • Drake||

    Hey dumbass - I'm linking to the audited 2011 Income Statement - not some progressive bullshit. Know when to shut up.

  • Drake||

    Gas taxes at the pump go straight to the government. They do pay sales taxes on fuel they buy and tariffs on what they import - that is the $60 billion I mention above.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    They also report employee FICA taxes as "taxes paid". They are shameless in their spin.

    Well, why not? Where the fuck do you think those employees got the money from, elves and unicorns?

  • Brutus||

    It should be 0%

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The effective US corporate tax rate is 12.5%. Corporations are our true protected class - both parties like it that way.

  • Brutus||

    Unfortunately, corporations have to employ armies of accountants and tax lawyers to jigger their businesses to reduce tax liability, often doing stupid things because they pay off, tax-wise. Why not just zero out the rate so businesses can do smart, competitive things that consumers want rather than stupid things that government wants?

  • yonemoto||

    because there should be a user fee for the legal privilege of limited liability?

    0% income tax, 15% flat corporate tax, I say. Corporations still only taxed on margins, of course.

  • Brutus||

    The flat tax is the easy part. The hard part is determining the basis. Hence the battalions of lawyers and accountants.

    Corporations are still liable, it's the projection of that liability to its shareholders. Zero the tax.

  • yonemoto||

    "Corporations are still liable, it's the projection of that liability to its shareholders."

    You don't suppose you could dilute the liability to the point where it becomes a moral hazard? If you buy a stock and the company causes more damage than its net stock value (which would have gone to zero anyway) can you round up the remaining shareholders and confiscate their money to pay back the damage?

    If a corporation wound up causing wildly negligent homicide, could you round up the shareholders and arrest them, and put them in jail for their fractional liability?

  • hk||

    Yes each case is specific and different.

    Your one-size-fits-all rules are dangerous.

    Except for Libertarian ideals like the Non-aggression principle and Private Property types.

  • Brutus||

    You don't suppose you could dilute the liability to the point where it becomes a moral hazard? If you buy a stock and the company causes more damage than its net stock value (which would have gone to zero anyway) can you round up the remaining shareholders and confiscate their money to pay back the damage?

    I'd say no, insofar as the shareholders don't have day-to-day power to influnce those decisions.

  • Sevo||

    yonemoto| 8.12.12 @ 6:25PM |#
    ..."You don't suppose you could dilute the liability to the point where it becomes a moral hazard? If you buy a stock and the company causes more damage than its net stock value (which would have gone to zero anyway) can you round up the remaining shareholders and confiscate their money to pay back the damage?"

    Is this different from a sole proprietorship that somehow caused damage beyond what the proprietor can pay?
    Yes, people and corporations blow it now and then, but bankruptcy means 'sorry, tapped out'.

  • yonemoto||

    yeah, if it's egregious enough, the sole proprietor can be put in the slammer. In order to do the same for corporations, you must 'pierce the corporate veil', which, for some reason, seems to be in disfavor.

  • yonemoto||

    zaytsev below also brings up a good point.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Just fuck off, douchebag.

  • yonemoto||

    Look. All i'm saying is, you want to run a free enterprise business, that fine and kosher. Just don't incorporate, and take on the personal liability yourself. Assume responsibility. And since you're filing taxes as personal income tax, your business will pay 0% tax. How hard is this, really?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Businesses should not be taxed at all. If taxation exists, then only individuals' gross income (or net profit on investments) should be taxable. This means that business profits get taxed when the profits actually make it to an individual investor.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    So subsidiaries of foreign corporations would pay no tax?

    Where a pass-through sub-S would pay 35% and compete with them?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I give no fuck whether a company is "foreign".

    Also the s-corp c-corp crap makes shit more complicated than it needs to be.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So everyone could set up a C corp, run their income through it and have it pay all of their expenses and thereby avoid any income tax liability.

    I don't think that's your intention. If it is, just eliminate income taxes altogether would be more straightforward.

  • Xenocles||

    It doesn't work that way. You would owe taxes on your income unless your employer was willing to treat you as an independent contractor and pay your corporation for services rendered.

    It's the same reason you still owe sales taxes even though you are spending money you owe income tax on.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You would owe taxes on your income unless your employer was willing to treat you as an independent contractor and pay your corporation for services rendered.

    And why wouldn't that be mutually beneficial if it gave me a 40% tax advantage?

    It's the same reason you still owe sales taxes even though you are spending money you owe income tax on.

    Nope, different theory of taxation and collection method.

    You could say that money your personal corporation spent for your personal consumption was taxable, but enforcement would be problematic at best.

  • Xenocles||

    It may well be mutually beneficial, depending on your rates and the intangibles. Some firms like to "own" people, some don't care. You'd just have to convince your customer. You'd also have to find a way to distribute your firm's "profits" (i.e., your pay) to you without incurring a dividends or capital gains tax or paying yourself a salary (where you'd likely come out behind due to owing the government the employer SS contribution on top of your personal one).

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I think you're missing the point.

    You'd have minimal income, whether through a dividend or salary because your corporation would make your mortgage payment and pay for your car and gas and clothes and food and hookers and blow.

    It would be hard for the government to prove which of those represented a "legitimate" business expense and which one didn't because the corporation would not be filing any tax returns - no tax no returns.

    And the amount of government tracking and intervention that would be needed to prevent that type of "abuse" (which actually isn't abuse anyway) would be much more intrusive than the already intrusive income tax enforcement.

  • Xenocles||

    I guess.

    But if you want to assume a fantasy overhaul of the tax code, why not just eliminate the income and payroll taxes rather than leave yourself having to jump through legal hoops?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I agree.

    I'm just point out the holes in eliminating income taxes for incorporated entities and not individuals.

    I think that the tax rate should be the same for both (low like 20% or less) and allow dividends to be an expense from corporate income.

    That eliminates the double taxation issue, minimizes gaming of income for tax minimization and makes the US internationally competitive for investment.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Why would you even need the S-Corp?

  • PapayaSF||

    So subsidiaries of foreign corporations would pay no tax?

    If we had a 0% corporate tax rate, there would be damn few foreign corporations: they'd all want to incorporate in the US for the tax advantages. ^_^

  • yonemoto||

    business != corporation, retard.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Corporations are businesses. What the fuck are you getting at?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Businesses can be organized as corporations or partnerships or LLCs or just as part of an individuals overall income.

    Corporations include businesses and non businesses like
    Labor Unions
    Cities
    Universities
    Charitable Organizations
    Advocacy Organizations
    Churches
    GSEs

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    All of those things are a kind of business. Not all of them would be relevant in a free market. The organizational legal differences would be mostly pointless in a free market.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So you think a free market would not have Churches, charitable organizations, municipal governments, non-profit universities, trade associations, sports leagues or advocacy groups?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I said not all of the things you listed would have relevance in a free market, which means some of those things would, in fact, still have relevance. And if businesses and organizations were not taxed, it would not matter how they were legally organized as far as "for profit" or "not for profit".

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I agree on your last point. However taxing the income of individuals and not incorporated organizations creates a variety of distortions and opportunities for tax gaming.

    A better solution, imo, is to either eliminate income taxes entirely or tax everything the same. And I'd include currently non taxable corporations in that taxing system.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I would prefer if all non personal businesses were limited liability. That does not prevent individual investors from being held accountable if they were directly involved in causing some harm.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Exxon Mobil earned $73B in 2011 and paid a 2% tax rate, which Mitt Romney's accountant describes as "exorbitant"

    Yeah, look at that corporation over there, with her titties hanging out and shaking that ass. And she acts like she doesn't know. Do you know she'll only fuck 2% of the guys who come up to her? I say we wait until she passes by that dark alleyway and we, the 98 percent, drag her in and knock her unconscious. Then we'll take what's ours. That'll teach that stuck up corporation not to pay her 'fair share'. You with me Archimedes?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Exxon Mobil earned $73B in 2011 and paid a 2% tax rate

    And you know what?

    That's exactly the rate that the government wants them to pay.

    After all, they are following all of the tax laws to achieve that low rate.

    Why are you spreading hate for an organization that is doing exactly what the democratically elected government wants it doing?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Archimedes,

    Exxon Mobil earned $73B in 2011 and paid a 2% tax rate,

    Invest in Exxon while you can, if they were able to pay that low a rate.

    [...]which Mitt Romney's accountant describes as "exorbitant"

    It's a good thing he's not MY accountant. I do not have any sort of personal problems with money - I like money, it is my friend. If you hate money, you're welcome to mail it to the government - or to me.

    Idiot.

  • califernian||

    Tax on business should be 0 so 2% is exorbitant.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Dear Warren, et al,

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

    Let us know when you have a cancelled check to show us.

    XOXOXO

  • ||

    Easier than that. Fauxcahontas's home state citizens have the right to pay for higher rate of state income tax. Just like John Kerry, she's not paying the higher rate.

  • Archimedes||

    14 Ways A 90 Percent Top Tax Rate Fixes Our Economy And Our Country

    http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-.....es-economy

  • Sevo||

    They sort of left "spending" off those charts.
    Probably ought to read "14 ways cutting spending..."

  • Xenocles||

    Oh, right. People who steal money will totally be honest on their taxes (#3). Any article that faints over the "Reagan/Bush debt" without so much as mentioning Obama's contribution is risible at best (#4). #5 or #6 won't happen at all in the long term - you might reap one year's worth of windfall before the hated rich leave, and increasing education spending for the past 40 years hasn't improved education results the slightest bit. I couldn't find the motivation to finish the article.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    With the exception of his stimulus Obama has not contributed to the debt.

    The $1.3 trillion deficit he inherited is coming down (but not by half like he promised).

  • Cytotoxic||

    Wow you are one serious retard.

  • Brutus||

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln.

    He promised to cut it in half by the end of his first term. It was right around $800B when he and Khmer Rouge rolled into town, about $1.2T now. Do the math, nancy-boy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Nope, your Bushpigs took a real surplus and left town with $1.3 trillion in annual red ink.

    http://www.politifact.com/trut.....istration/

  • Brutus||

    Politifact is wrong. The last Bush deficit was around $800B. A supplemental spending bill was passed for that FY, but after Obama took office.

    So, to keep his promise, Prezzydint Unicorn needs a defict this year of $400B. Instead we got one for $1.2T.

    He lied or he's incompetent. Take your pick.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The CBO is wrong?

    What is your source? Wingnut.com?

  • Brutus||

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/.....orefer=us

    I'm pretty sure the iniquitous Chimpy Katrinaburton wasn't President on Feb. 25, 2009. Quick Buck Barack and his spendthrift Congress made it all happen. Lots of pent-up looter demand.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Broken link.

    You have nothing. The CBO is right and you are wrong again.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 8.12.12 @ 7:54PM |#
    "Broken link.
    You have nothing. The CBO is right and you are wrong again."

    Since shriek can't read it, why it MUST be wrong.
    Idiot.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    You have nothing. The CBO is right and you are wrong again.

    When did Congress pass Bush's FY 2009 budget, you stupid twink?

    Or do you want me to pull out the Treasury numbers again? That one's always good for a laugh on you too.

  • Sevo||

    That guy Bush is AMAZING! Still running things after some incompetent was elected to take his place.
    Or, shriek is an idiot.

  • Drake||

    I wonder who was voting for all that spending bush signed off on? Perhaps the junior Senator from Illinois when he was Present?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Except a deficit isn't a stock number. It is a flow. The only extent to which Mr. Obama "inhereted" a deficit from Mr. Bush is the extent to which he chose to continue the spending spree that produced those deficits.

  • Xenocles||

    In one sense no president contributes to the debt, since Congress enacts the budget and the revenue structure. In another, more real sense, the president owns the debt because he signs the appropriation bill and leads the department that spends the money. Unless every appropriation and CR was enacted over Obama's veto, it's his debt. Deal with it.

  • PapayaSF||

    ^This.^ And note that the "Bush deficit" skyrocketed after the Democrats took Congress in 2006.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 8.12.12 @ 4:04PM |#
    "With the exception of his stimulus Obama has not contributed to the debt."

    Yes, it's now time for your favorite program: "Shriek's Comedy Hour"...
    What an idiot.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    He reads to much Eleanor Clift. "La, la, la not listening! Obama is great, la, la, la! It's all inherited. La, la, la. Racists! La..."

    You know the rest of the sad song and dance.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    "too much."

  • Brutus||

    Ever hear a port-sider say, "Let's come up with a good, transparent way to raise enough revenue to run the public sector"?

    Me either.

    For them, it's about punishment, retribution. The money is almost beside the point.

  • ||

    Almost?

    Remember the 'it is a fairness issue' with regards to the capital gains tax? The money is beside the point.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    With the exception of his stimulus Obama has not contributed to the debt.

    Correct - what contributes to the debt is the spending, not Obama.

    The $1.3 trillion deficit he inherited is coming down (but not by half like he promised).

    Like me when I "inherited" 10,000 USD of debt from who was to be my wife. Except I didn't bitch and moan about it like your dear leader, I actually *paid it down* by spending LESS that what I TOOK home in income.

  • dinkster||

    He inherited a faucet left running?

  • ||

    Based on the logic that correlation equals causation we should also bring back segregation to restrict the workforce to white folks and thus raise wages, and also restrict women to the home.

    Oh, and we need a Cold War so the government can pour billions of dollars into the military-industrial complex, which is what virtually all government spending in the 50s was about.

  • PapayaSF||

    ^This.^

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I much preferred "300 Million Ways A Truly Free Market Fixes Our Economy And Our Country."

  • Brutus||

    Ha-ha, just the first one is a knee-slapper:

    "It makes it take longer to end up with a fortune. In fact it makes people build and earn a fortune, instead of shooting for quick windfalls. This forces long-term thinking and planning instead of short-term scheming and scamming."

    And guess the first long-term decision that will be made? "Fuck this place, I'm investing elsewhere."

  • ||

    I can imagine a small Latin American country almost instantly becoming a wealthy nation by simply carving out some land and offering a tax free haven for corporations and investors.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I can imagine a lot of potential for a place like Cuba to be awesome.

  • ||

    yes...except those places have a much higher percentage of moochers than we do. It would never fly with the local populations. Sad but true.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Why limit this to high income earners? As of 2004, median household income was $44,389. So using Dave's logic, anything more than that should be taxed at the 90% rate.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Archimedes,

    14 Ways A 90 Percent Top Tax Rate Fixes Our Economy And Our Country

    Hey, captain Oblivious: FDR raised the rate to 90% in 1939 and the country sunk even deeper into the Great Depression. If not for the war to serve as distraction, he would've lost in 1944.

    Just for starters, the very first "reason" wastes no time in laying out the stupid in the guy:

    1) It makes it take longer to end up with a fortune. In fact it makes people build and earn a fortune, instead of shooting for quick windfalls. This forces long-term thinking and planning instead of short-term scheming and scamming.

    First, the term "earn" is nothing more than cheap moralizing from the author by giving more moral weight to toil than ability. Unless you steal from others, your fortune comes from trade and thus is earned always.

    If grabbing everything in sight and running doesn't pay off anymore, you have to change your strategy.

    At least you know the company you keep, since this guy is an ignorant fool not unlike you. People that trade do not "grab" anything.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If we had a 90% tax rate we could invade Cuba!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey, here's a wacky idea: If you're concerned that people/companies aren't paying their fair share of wasteful government spending, then why not eliminate all tax deductions for individuals, and eliminate all tax breaks/incentives for small businesses and kkkorporations. That way the tax code is vastly simpler and everybody pays moar!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Apparently, if the tax rate were 90%, that money would be magically transferred into the pockets of the "middle class".

    Has the "middle class" been redefined (again) as "people who work for the government"?

  • Xenocles||

    I live in the richest county in the country, and it's chock full of people who work directly and indirectly for the government.

  • Xenocles||

    Including me. An O-3 in the DC metro area is in roughly the 90th income percentile.

  • dinkster||

    I work for the infamous MIC. It seems waste only exists when you witness it first hand.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I believe that's now "upper middle class." At least at the federal level.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    increasing education spending for the past 40 years hasn't improved education results the slightest bit.

    "Diminishing returns" is a meme invented by the vast right wing conspiracy.

  • Archimedes||

    Stupid Brits don't even know the proper words to "My Country 'Tis of Thee"

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Don't get me going on Olympic boxing...

  • Archimedes||

    Good on NBC showing a volleyball game 8 hours old.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Two of my buddies are analysts (one pension the other investment) and while both are "liberal" they ain't stupid. They point the problem squarely on spending and entitlements. It's past a tipping point.

    As for the position asking liberals who feel they're not taxed enough to cut a cheque to the government, I remember being on a critical thinking site that argued such a notion is a logical fallacy.

    I still don't quite get that. If you feel strongly about something, then shut up and lead by example I thought. Not according to this philosophy professor.

  • Archimedes||

    he logical fallacy is Ad Hominem Tu Quoque and is committed when “it is concluded that a person’s claim is false because 1) it is inconsistent with something else a person has said or 2) what a person says is inconsistent with her actions.”

  • Xenocles||

    It's not fallacious when the claim relates directly to the person's actions. If the person truly wanted to pay more taxes, we would expect him to pay more taxes voluntarily. He does not do so. Therefore, we conclude that he does not want to pay more taxes.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    No. When somebody says "I should be paying more taxes!" it's perfectly fair to ask "Well what's stopping you, asshole?" What they really want (or more accurately, pretend to want) is for other people to pay higher taxes.

  • Archimedes||

    Stephen King wants to pay more.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....-sake.html

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OK, you're a little slow, so I'll try again.

    When somebody says "Tax me more!" without voluntarily paying more, he's trying to give his opinion moral authority that hasn't been earned. It's a trick meant for rubes - like you.

    Get it?

  • Sevo||

    Fatty Bolger| 8.12.12 @ 4:59PM |#
    "OK, you're a little slow,..."

    You're too kind.

  • Xenocles||

    In all that idiotic meandering ranting he never said whether he actually pays more - though he strongly implied that he does not and seems to think the idea of doing so is stupid.

  • Brutus||

    The address is right here in this thread. Forward it to him and he can send in all he wants.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Yes.

    I still don't see why we can't call them out for it. You want to be taxed more, then tax yourself. Don't ASK ME to do it.

  • ||

    California will have a ballot proposition:

    Ban both corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates

    Ban contributions by government contractors to the politicians who
    control contracts awarded to them

    Ban automatic deductions by corporations, unions, and government of employees’ wages to be used for politics

    The unions are going apeshit because they are afraid that the "get special interest money out of politics" meme will trick liberals into voting for something that will curtail their power in the state.

  • Xenocles||

    The best part is that the ban on contributions will be summarily overturned in court but the ban on dues withholding will remain.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I love it.

  • PapayaSF||

    Just the other day I heard a radio ad opposing Prop. 32. The pitch was "it's not what you think it is" but it was remarkably free of any real information. You couldn't tell what the proposition was about. At the end of the ad, though, it listed all the public unions behind the ad, so I figured it must be a proposition I would vote for.

  • dinkster||

    A good bill that should root out the "honest but misguided Dem/Liberals" from the bought and paid for Capps and Pelosis of congress. It will likely fail.

  • Fluffy||

    OT:

    Vermont Governor instructs Vermont small businesses to cancel their employees' health insurance so they can get subsidies through the state exchange instead.

    http://vtdigger.org/2012/08/12.....-exchange/

  • ||

    Coverage begins in 2014; at that point, the federal government will offer subsidies for individuals who earn less than $92,500 per year.

    Vermont is the only state to require small businesses to participate in the program. Shumlin administration officials have suggested that companies with fewer than 50 employees drop coverage of workers so that the workers can qualify for individual subsidies.

    It's only a "suggestion", but still indicative what a racket the whole thing is.

  • ||

    I actually kind of like that. Get people out of their stupid fucking employer-based plans.

    Then repeal the subsidies.
    If we do the repeal of Obamacare just slightly after everyone gets kicked into the individual market, we might just un-fuck the insurance market.

  • PapayaSF||

    I like the way your mind works.

  • Fluffy||

    "It makes it take longer to end up with a fortune. In fact it makes people build and earn a fortune, instead of shooting for quick windfalls. This forces long-term thinking and planning instead of short-term scheming and scamming."

    This is not only wrong; it's actually the opposite of the truth.

    Even our current tax rates make it essentially impossible to be a sole proprietor and accumulate capital to expand a business.

    The reason people use debt leverage and/or the equity markets to raise capital is because you're prevented by our tax system from accumulating capital on your own. A sole proprietor paying 90% of his profits in taxes will never expand his business using his own resources. Ever. He'd have to borrow, or go to the investment bankers. And doing either of those things forces you to generate returns on a timetable that is acceptable to your lender and/or your investors.

    It's as if the person who wrote this has absolutely no idea about anything.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fluffy,

    This one here is even stupider:

    3) It will lower the executive crime rate.

    Yes, raising your taxes turns you into a model citizen.

    But being Archimedes the direct result of the Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem, I guess it should not come as a surprise that he would link to that collection of stupid reasons without even bothering to read any of them.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I think this is true. I own a business and it's ridiculous how the system is set up. That's definitely not in the favor of the small business. But lefties are ready to blow us out of the water still some more with their wrongheaded motives and hollow ideals.

    The amount of money I had to borrow to keep my business going set me back three years. That's three years longer for me to add to the economy in terms of expanding, buying another business, to say nothing of me deferring hiring.

    Leave the money in my pocket and things would be better.

    Alas, it's not how people like Tony (who make up the majority of the votes because they don't know what it is to own a business) want it.

    Something about a democracy or something?

  • Rich||

    Why is tax a *rate*? Wouldn't a fixed *amount* be "fairer"?

  • ||

    Here is the problem. Most of the people making that much money aren't making it from salaries or wages. They are making it from investments. In the case of Stephen King, royalties.

    Capital gains and dividends are taxed at (IIRC) a 15% rate, while royalties, depends on the type, but it may or may not be treated as ordinary income, depending on whether you count as "self-employed" or not.

    In any case, the top income tax rate, if raised to 38% would be primarily applied to people who make their money earning wages in salaried positions. Upper middle-class professionals and mid-tier executives. Not investment bankers, or anyone who gets paid with stock options.

    If you really want tax fairness, what you should be advocating is raising capital gains and dividend tax rates to 25% while cutting income tax rates to 25%. I'd top that by cutting the corporate tax rate to 0 to avoid double taxing corporate income.

    I don't know why the Democrats aren't advocating increasing taxes on investment income since they're the ones railing against vulture capitalists and bankers.
    Personally, I think it is totally fair to treat all forms of income alike. Having a 38% rate on wage income and a 15% rate on investments penalizes work.

  • ||

    Looked it up.

    http://www.ehow.com/facts_6153.....x-law.html

    Royalties are taxed as ordinary income but generally are exempt from FICA and Medicare taxes, unless you are self employed. I'm not sure how the tax law works, but I'm betting theres a way for book authers to claim to be employed in some other occupaton so they can avoid paying FICA on book royalties.

  • Sevo||

    "I'm not sure how the tax law works, but I'm betting theres a way for book authers to claim to be employed in some other occupaton so they can avoid paying FICA on book royalties."

    Well, that populist ol' Warren B. seems to have tax trouble with flying (for free and I'm sure minus any TSA groping) on his 'own' jets.
    So, yeah, it's an odds-on bet that King has some good tax advisers who, well, make sure he doesn't pay taxes like he claims he 'wants to'.
    Simple solution: You claim you want to pay higher taxes? Let's see your returns.
    Or STFU.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Not only do I dig this comment, I find if you read in a XXX voice it's all the more sexier.

    Hazel brings up a point those of us who invest already know: You don't get rich on salary, and taxation mostly hurts those who want to save to invest.

    It's hard to save when the government takes so much.

    The real game is in owning property, investments etc.

    I took on debt to get into that.

    A little note about my business. The government prevents me from hiring people on contract (which would make me save money on stupid payroll taxes and "social indemnities") unless they satisfy all sorts of rules. Meanwhile, the government itself outsources contracts all the time.

  • califernian||

    Why does the federal government need 25(!!!) percent of everyone's income?

    That is ridiculously high.

  • ||

    You're right. I'm just thinking at the current size of the federal government that's what the tax rate would have to be. With a large standard deduction.

    Ideally, it would be much smaller.

  • Keith3D||

    For starters you'd need to adjust thee capital gains rate down due to inflation.

    If you put your in commodities or land, purely to avoid losing your wealth due to inflation, then the fact that the dollar value of those "investments" goes up means you get taxed as if you were actually getting wealthier when you're not gaining anything. This actually goes for any investments. Capital gains taxes are used as a wealth tax.

  • mattrue||

    According to this chart: http://www.usgovernmentspendin.....15USp_F0t, government at all levels spends 38% of GDP. I don't pay 38% of my income in taxes. It's probably close to half of that. So that means there are people out there paying a lot more than 38%, in one form or another.

    The useful idiots in that video seem to think the wealthy only pay federal income tax, as if income was the only effective means to milk the productive class. Why can't they just leave us alone and start a kibbutz? It ought to be really easy to get a 75% rate passed then.

  • Brutus||

    I think you'd be shocked at how much of your paycheck goes to taxes. It's not just income, FICA and state taxes. there's sales, excise, property, fuel, etc., a lot of it buried in the price of things you buy.

  • mattrue||

    I agree, but my point was that there are plenty of people paying far, far less than 38%. Therefore, there are plenty, or at least a few billionaires, paying more. And when I say "I don't pay 38% of my income in taxes", I'm not just talking about the income tax. All those other hidden taxes are payed with my income.

    I'm leaving out what's debt-financed, but the point is that the wealthy pay far more than 28% of their incomes. And it won't just be the wealthy paying that much if government doesn't reign in spending.

  • Sevo||

    mattrue| 8.12.12 @ 10:35PM |#
    ..."I don't pay 38% of my income in taxes."...
    Brutus has your number...

  • Adam330||

    You're making the assumption that taxes equal spending, which in the case of current US governments, is a really really wrong assumption.

  • jason||

    This is not a right decision to tax some community more than the others,

  • bendover||

    I just pulled up a random tax client file and reviewed their info. Here is what I found:

    Taxable income $378,521

    Federal Tax $122,281
    Social security $11,108 employee and employer
    Medicare $5,946 employee and employer
    State Tax $22,816
    School District Tax $3,555
    City Tax $5,460
    Real Estate Tax $17,866
    Sales Tax $2,175 per government tables
    Gasoline and other - pass

    Total Tax Bill - $191,207 or 50.5%

  • R C Dean||

    Sadly, my taxable income isn't that high, but when I ran the all-in tax numbers on our household recently, I came up with just under 50% of our income going to taxes.

  • MengaBooo||

    Because the rich have all he politicians and lawmakers bought and paid for, its the American way!

    www.IT-Privacy.tk

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