How much is enough and progressive income taxes

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#16

Post by GregD » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:46 am

BillyBob66 wrote:
GregD wrote:
BillyBob66 wrote:Whenever I hear an argument for higher tax rates, I think of a roofer on a rooftop in summer time in MS.
Because everyone in the US is a roofer in Mississippi?
I'm sure you did not get that from what I said. ...
People at my income level and above will do just fine if their tax rates don't change or even go up. Maybe they won't get to retire quite as early as otherwise, but their lifestyle isn't going to suffer. Even though it may not eliminate the current federal budget deficit, it will certainly help.

Notice that people like me don't need to work a second job to make ends meet. We typically hire people (often at particularly low wages because the people are illegal aliens) to mow our lawns and clean our toilets. There is nothing wrong with that at all (provided we pay fair wages). But don't conflate the situation of people like me with the situation of your daughter; they simply aren't the same.

Your entire argument favors those with money at the expense of those with none.

Regarding capital gains: The reward one earns by risking their money is the return on the investment. But no, you want even more reward - a preferred tax rate. If you want that buy municipal bonds.

Even Warren Buffett asserts that it is unconscionable that his effective tax rate is less than his secretary's (whose salary is nominally middle-class).



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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#17

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:22 pm

GregD wrote:
BillyBob66 wrote:
GregD wrote:
Because everyone in the US is a roofer in Mississippi?
I'm sure you did not get that from what I said. ...
People at my income level and above will do just fine if their tax rates don't change or even go up. Maybe they won't get to retire quite as early as otherwise, but their lifestyle isn't going to suffer. Even though it may not eliminate the current federal budget deficit, it will certainly help.

Notice that people like me don't need to work a second job to make ends meet. We typically hire people (often at particularly low wages because the people are illegal aliens) to mow our lawns and clean our toilets. There is nothing wrong with that at all (provided we pay fair wages). But don't conflate the situation of people like me with the situation of your daughter; they simply aren't the same.

Your entire argument favors those with money at the expense of those with none.

Regarding capital gains: The reward one earns by risking their money is the return on the investment. But no, you want even more reward - a preferred tax rate. If you want that buy municipal bonds.

Even Warren Buffett asserts that it is unconscionable that his effective tax rate is less than his secretary's (whose salary is nominally middle-class).
Yet again, I have to say: you did not get that from what I said. In what way did I "conflate the situation of people like me with the situation of your daughter; they simply aren't the same.". Very very obviously, my daughters situation is not the same as yours. You have a lot, she does not unless her parents give it to her. What would make you think that I was saying her situation was like yours? She certainly has no luxuries or retirement to speak of even at age 48(having made some poor choices and had some bad luck) unless we supply them. If you increase my taxes, we will be less able to do so.

But there is ONE way ( out of many that could be considered) in which her situation, and that of every other wage earning American, is very much like yours: if she earns more money from a job or 2 jobs, she pays an ever increasing percentage of that money into taxes. If she doubles her money, it is guaranteed she will more than double her taxes. Your situation and her situation are identical in that way, don't you agree?

"Regarding capital gains: The reward one earns by risking their money is the return on the investment. But no, you want even more reward - a preferred tax rate. If you want that buy municipal bonds.".
Exactly what I said. The reward is the return, which might be zero or even a loss, and the risk is taken with already taxed money that the common man may have, miraculously, had left over after taxes and living expenses. But even though millions of Americans risk their already taxed left over money investing in American companies or maybe even cities(mun. bonds), you are not satisfied with 15% of their gains if the should be so lucky as to have a gain, you want more, right? And BTW, even municipal bonds are not risk free, people have and do lose money on those when the tax and spend more than they collect in taxes cities go bust. Which has been known to happen, and will happen again in the future. Anyway, why should there be a favored tax rate for mun. bonds and not other taxes? Because the government wants to encourage you to put their money at risk with them, but no private company should have that privilege?

"Even Warren Buffett asserts that it is unconscionable". This is a very common syndrome. Rich liberals feel guilty about what they have accomplished, or what some one else has accomplished and left to them. They respond to this guilt by wanting all the hard working people to pay more taxes, to give more to the government who can pay more for prisoner's sex change procedures. Instead of just giving all of their excess money to the poor or even the government, they always want me to pay more taxes. Even though they know it will never be able to overcome the amount the government wants to spend, they always want me to pay more. Here is a governments plan to invest, always the same: Bill and the other folks must pay up. Whatever they come up with, I (and millions like me) must pay. That is the plan! They can always find something else to "invest" my money in. And every one else's money! You earn it, or you risk it after earning it, they take it, that is the plan.

As Margaret Thatcher supposedly once said, "The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other peoples money".
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#18

Post by GregD » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:54 pm

BillyBob66 wrote: But there is ONE way ( out of many that could be considered) in which her situation, and that of every other wage earning American, is very much like yours: if she earns more money from a job or 2 jobs, she pays an ever increasing percentage of that money into taxes. If she doubles her money, it is guaranteed she will more than double her taxes. Your situation and her situation are identical in that way, don't you agree?
Yes, that is true; federal income tax is progressive. And my OP is why I think that is best for our society.

BillyBob66 wrote: "Regarding capital gains: The reward one earns by risking their money is the return on the investment. But no, you want even more reward - a preferred tax rate. If you want that buy municipal bonds.".
Exactly what I said. The reward is the return, which might be zero or even a loss, and the risk is taken with already taxed money that the common man may have, miraculously, had left over after taxes and living expenses. But even though millions of Americans risk their already taxed left over money investing in American companies or maybe even cities(mun. bonds), you are not satisfied with 15% of their gains if the should be so lucky as to have a gain, you want more, right? And BTW, even municipal bonds are not risk free, people have and do lose money on those when the tax and spend more than they collect in taxes cities go bust. Which has been known to happen, and will happen again in the future. Anyway, why should there be a favored tax rate for mun. bonds and not other taxes? Because the government wants to encourage you to put their money at risk with them, but no private company should have that privilege?
It still comes down to this: someone with money uses it to make more money, on which he pays a lower tax rate than someone with no extra money who makes money only by his time and effort. Make the change revenue neutral if you like; tax capital gains income the same as ordinary income and adjust rates so that in the end the federal government takes in the same amount of revenue as it would have without this change.

The argument for making municipal bonds tax free is that those bonds are good for society. Taxing municipal bonds will have the effect of increasing local taxes and/or decreasing local infrastructure development.

The private company privilege thing makes no sense to me.

BillyBob66 wrote: "Even Warren Buffett asserts that it is unconscionable". This is a very common syndrome. Rich liberals feel guilty about what they have accomplished, or what some one else has accomplished and left to them. They respond to this guilt by wanting all the hard working people to pay more taxes, to give more to the government who can pay more for prisoner's sex change procedures. Instead of just giving all of their excess money to the poor or even the government, they always want me to pay more taxes. Even though they know it will never be able to overcome the amount the government wants to spend, they always want me to pay more. Here is a governments plan to invest, always the same: Bill and the other folks must pay up. Whatever they come up with, I (and millions like me) must pay. That is the plan! They can always find something else to "invest" my money in. And every one else's money! You earn it, or you risk it after earning it, they take it, that is the plan.

As Margaret Thatcher supposedly once said, "The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other peoples money".
You don't know what you're talking about. How do you know the motivations of another? God told you? BS, you don't. I don't know about Warren, but I feel no guilt. I'm an atheist and I don't DO guilt. I clearly stated in the OP:
GregD wrote:My point is that I sincerely cannot understand those at my income level or higher that complain that they pay too much income tax.
GregD wrote:I certainly cannot understand "trickle down economics" proponents that claim that lowering the marginal income tax rate for people at my income level or higher will stimulate the economy.
For that matter, we would have to compare W-2s to figure out whether I'm saying anything whatsoever about how much tax Bill should pay.

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#19

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:04 pm

Well, please excuse me for my BS, but I'm just making a call based on the info you provided. You said Buffet thought it was unconscionable that he paid the same tax rate as his secretary(even though that could mean she pays < $10,000 and he pays millions).
"un·con·scion·a·ble
ˌənˈkänSH(ə)nəbəl/
adjective
adjective: unconscionable

not right or reasonable.
"the unconscionable conduct of his son"
synonyms: unethical, amoral, immoral, unprincipled, indefensible, unforgivable, wrong; " If he thinks it is immoral and unforgivable that he pays the same rate as his secretary, even if that might still mean he is paying millions, excuse me if I might make the mistake of thinking a decent person might have some guilt associated with feeling the situation he is in is unconscionable. Especially if he is not correcting the immoral, unforgivable wrong by just giving his money away to the poor, maybe even to his secretary, bypassing the government, and skipping the middle man. So, for whatever reason ( though maybe not guilt: your right, I don't KNOW), what he wants done to correct this unconscionable wrong is, as you do apparently, for me to pay more money to the federal government. So they can spend it in their usual wise fashion, to help the needy by their definition:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/ ... 6-14-46-34

So, atheists don't do guilt, is that right? Interesting. I wish you would feel guilty about wanting most of your fellow citizens to pay more taxes. ( or is it only the ultra-rich, defined by you, who you want to pay more? ) And I guess that no guilt deal helps explain the action of the atheistic communists who did away with about 100 million during the last century, and Chinese communists willingness to execute political prisoners so the can sell their organs.
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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#20

Post by GregD » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:02 pm

OK, sub-optimal word choice on my end. Still, the whole guilt idea is a figment of someone's imagination.

I will defer to the medical professionals responsible for treating a patient to decide what is medically necessary treatment for that patient. They probably know much better what is appropriate than me. Or you.

I can speak for and I am responsible for only one specific atheist. As you are only responsible for one specific Christian.

Again, make it revenue neutral; no change in the total amount of income taxes the government collects. What does not make sense to me is the way those taxes are distributed among us. I think it would be better if income taxes were more progressive then they are and that capital gains should be taxed the same as ordinary income. Not because of any guilt, but because I think our society would work a bit better. Those that don't have so much pay a bit less than they do now, those that make more pay a bit more than they do now. Jeepers, even my boy Trump criticized the carried interest deduction (although that guy seems to be willing to say any thing at any time with no concern whatsoever about factual accuracy or logical consistency, so nothing he says has any credibitlity).

Apparently you don't agree. Fair enough. Not unexpected. I thought it might be interesting to air out both sides of the issue. But whether the amount the government collects is appropriate, or whether what the government spends tax money on is appropriate is not relevant here; discuss that in another thread (or two) if you like. In my view the most meaningful counter-argument to my position was wrightdu's comment that he's doing just fine.

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#21

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:30 pm

OK, you are right, I took it off topic by bringing in the discussion of whether we need to give the government any more money either from the ultra rich or the middle class guy. I see that upon re-reading your OP. Also, your concept of keeping it revenue neutral makes that point moot. It is now a discussion of switching it around, changing up who pays what.

On that, I really don't know for sure. And, are you talking about the Trumps and Buffets paying more ( not many of them but if it is revenue neutral should not matter, you are getting your justice maybe that is all that matters? ) or are you talking about the guy who makes 100K (or even 50K? ) paying more so that the guy who makes 30K can pay less? Well, I just don't know. As I posted earlier, those folks making 50-250K are already paying 90+% of the total.

And here is where I sense a problem with when folks receive benefits, but pay virtually nothing, thus having no skin in the game: those people vote, and their vote counts as much as the guy who is shouldering the tax burden. At that point, the guys who live off of the taxes collected are- for all practical purposes- voting on how much of a raise the other guy should give them. If you don' pay taxes and do receive benefits from taxes, there might be a tendency to not care how high the other guys tax rates are.

Some have recommended national sales taxes, and or flat rates. I am not sure which, if any, would be better. But if a sales tax, the more you buy, the more you pay. The poor would not buy much thus would pay little. The rich would have maybe thousands or millions of times more in dollars spent, and would pay that much more in taxes. But each would be paying the same rate, just as they do now with state sales taxes. But I really don't know.
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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#22

Post by sarge » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:13 pm

I don't feel sorry for Buffet's Secretary.

Do you have any idea the kind of salary the Secretary of a billionaire takes home?
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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#23

Post by Mophead » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:33 pm

Zero sounds like enough. It was before 1913.

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#24

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:53 pm

Mophead wrote:Zero sounds like enough. It was before 1913.
Superb point. Plus, it was at an extremely low rate for a long time after 1913. None of the founders nor most folks for years after 1913 would have ever dreamed that the federal government would have taken such a staggering chunk of our earnings. Something to consider when discussing how much do we really need and how much is fair to take and from whom it should be taken.
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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#25

Post by GregD » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:28 pm

BillyBob66 wrote:
Mophead wrote:Zero sounds like enough. It was before 1913.
Superb point. Plus, it was at an extremely low rate for a long time after 1913. None of the founders nor most folks for years after 1913 would have ever dreamed that the federal government would have taken such a staggering chunk of our earnings. Something to consider when discussing how much do we really need and how much is fair to take and from whom it should be taken.
The world is not much like it was in 1776. Or 1913 for that matter. A few of the founder's ideas a still relevant, but they got quite a bit wrong.

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#26

Post by Scott » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:23 am

I hear a lot about what is 'right', what we are obligated or duty bound to do, what is moral, etc. This comes into play for a host of topics - taxes, gender equality, saving the planet, medical care, and on and on. What I have never understood is the mindset that we owe anyone anything. In a society we make certain concessions to get a long, but not because we 'owe' anyone, or because it is 'right'. It is to avoid conflict and fighting, and to accomplish some agreed upon thing that will benefit all, or most.

I see two underlying philosophies - A God based, and a Nature based. I wasn't going to bring it up in this thread, but since it has been... I find it amusing that the God based crowd often takes the side of self reliance (take care of yourself, work, get a job, natural selection?) and the nature based takes the stance of social obligation (welfare, global warming, etc.) Shouldn't God's team chose humanity and protecting the earth, and Nature's team be out for themselves since there is no higher purpose to life?
As for guilt, I see BOTH sides using guilt equally. God side - be good or go to hell. Nature side - do what WE think is good for humanity or be mocked and shamed. Guilt.

My view - It is not the governments job to ensure everyone has a wonderful life and is taken care of, and especially not their job to teach me how I should think. It is the government's job to give me a safe place to live and work, to build infrastructure, and to judge between disagreements in civil matters. Our Govt is way too big and costs way too much in my opinion.

As to what is right or not.
God based (pick your God) - He tells us what is 'Right'
Nature based - No one can tell us what is 'Right'. We are just animals doing what we do.
Texas sucede? Y'all are lucky we don't invade!

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#27

Post by GregD » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:42 am

Scott wrote: As to what is right or not.
...
Nature based - No one can tell us what is 'Right'. We are just animals doing what we do.
That is me; what is 'Right' is the option that has the most desirable consequences. The success of humans is driven by highly cooperative interdependent societies. If our society is doing well, I'm probably going to be doing well.

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#28

Post by sarge » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:03 pm

GregD wrote:
The world is not much like it was in 1776. Or 1913 for that matter. A few of the founder's ideas a still relevant, but they got quite a bit wrong.
So did the guy running the country for the last 8 years.
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#29

Post by GregD » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:56 am

sarge wrote:
GregD wrote:
The world is not much like it was in 1776. Or 1913 for that matter. A few of the founder's ideas a still relevant, but they got quite a bit wrong.
So did the guy running the country for the last 8 years.
As did the guy before him, and the guy before him, and the guy before him, and the guy before him...

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Re: How much is enough and progressive income taxes

#30

Post by sarge » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:01 am

GregD wrote:
sarge wrote:
GregD wrote:
The world is not much like it was in 1776. Or 1913 for that matter. A few of the founder's ideas a still relevant, but they got quite a bit wrong.
So did the guy running the country for the last 8 years.
As did the guy before him, and the guy before him, and the guy before him, and the guy before him...
So, I'll ask.

What, exactly, was your point about the founders getting things wrong?
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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