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Author Topic: Fiscal Responsibility Bill [On President's Desk]  (Read 9473 times)
Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2009, 05:06:36 pm »
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A preliminary estimate by the Office of the GM predicts this bill will bring in between $250 billion and $600 billion. A more detailed analysis will come in the next week or so.

I can't help but question the numbers even though I was the one that asked you to comment. I certainly hope that in the detailed analysis this figure is raised up (and if this is annual/per decade) but we'll see. I look forward to it, but I would invite you to look at the effect of smaller tax hikes and large tax cuts and look at how much those cost, just for some background..

Roll Eyes I take it you don't know anybody who has lived in a big city. In NYC $1,000,000 a year is upper middle-class at best if you want to live in a decent area.

Perhaps we just don't know the rich people you do, but this is one of the most hilarious things I've read on this site, in a city where even the most expensive area's median income is $67,000, anyone who makes a million dollars a year is, needless to say, going to be sitting very pretty.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Er, well, no. You're assuming people use their own money to pay for a small business startup, which they largely don't do. That's not to say rich people don't start businesses, they can, but since I would wager most businesses are started by people who take out several loans for startup costs (take it from someone who's mom had to go through the whole small business deal, and we're dirt poor) I don't think the "it hurt's business" response is all that applicable.

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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

And so do less wealthy people. Who cares? Millionaires won't suddenly stop donating to charity, and even if they do, more effective and larger programs would be financed by the revenue generated by this increase, more than compensating.
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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2009, 05:17:34 pm »
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1. You punish people for being successful.

So you consider than success=money ? In the perfect world it would certainly be so, in the perfect world of Adam Smith when private interests always cause the greatest good possible. In our world it isn't so. And anyways I DON'T PUNISH THEM. Tax is not a punishment, but the contribution anyone should give to the common interest.

Surely then, if you don't want to punish them, you would support a flat % rate for taxes? Yeah, let's take 2/3 of Bill Gates income for being rich despite the fact that he donated millions to charity.
 
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2. You discourage people from being ambitious (a positive trait in many cases).

Don't worry, people won't stop to be ambitious just because they will give 60% of their income to the State instead of 50%. When you are so rich, those numbers don't mean anything, except if you are OUncle Scrooge.

Perhaps, but it would slow them down because they have less money to invest.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Who else does ? The State. How do you finance the State ?

Since when did the state finance small businesses? They only hinder them with over regulation and high taxes.


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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

Charity doesn't solve social problem. It can act in the short term and the most desperate cases. Plus, charities make people feel indebted for what they received, whereas a decent life should be a right.

The government doesn't solve social problems either, in fact, it makes them worse often. Aren't a majority of Muslims in your country on welfare? Mhmm. Isn't there conflict between Muslims and French in your country? Yes.

The war on poverty in the US destroyed the black family by (unintentionally) paying women to have lots of children out of wedlock.

If you can't hold down a job and contribute to society, you should live with your family or go to a charity organization, not leech off of the rich.


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5. Gee, I wonder who creates jobs in this country? Certainly not some poor guy from Alabama.

Same answer than question 3.

Perhaps, but again, 70% of new jobs in this country are created by small businesses, not corporations or the government.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Er, well, no. You're assuming people use their own money to pay for a small business startup, which they largely don't do. That's not to say rich people don't start businesses, they can, but since I would wager most businesses are started by people who take out several loans for startup costs (take it from someone who's mom had to go through the whole small business deal, and we're dirt poor) I don't think the "it hurt's business" response is all that applicable.

Most people get the money to start a small business from venture capitalists who, surprise, surprise, are rich.

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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

And so do less wealthy people. Who cares? Millionaires won't suddenly stop donating to charity, and even if they do, more effective and larger programs would be financed by the revenue generated by this increase, more than compensating.

Yes, but who contributes more per capita, the rich. You're assuming government programs work, which for the most part they don't. The government's size could easily be halved without significantly impacting the welfare of the general populace.
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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2009, 05:20:47 pm »
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Alright, I was exaggerating on the NYC thing, but look at this:

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A New Yorker would have to make $123,322 a year to have the same standard of living as someone making $50,000 in Houston.

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/02/05/2009-02-05_nyc_so_costly_you_need_to_earn_six_figur.html

Clearly, somebody making $1 million in NYC is just barely rich by the standards of most suburbs.

This fact kills the bill IMO:
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...when Ronald Reagan cut taxes on his advice, tax receipts from the wealthy began to rise, and have been growing (both as an absolute amount and as a percentage of all taxes collected) ever since. It is fundamentally impossible to collect taxes from the rich without their cooperation.

http://www.caseint.com/john/taxing_the_rich.htm This article gives a compelling argument against overtaxing the rich.

See, the rich will spend more time hiding their money if taxes are raised, causing them to spend less time investing and innovating and decreasing tax revenue.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 05:29:11 pm by Governor Vepres »Logged
Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2009, 05:40:36 pm »
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Since when did the state finance small businesses? They only hinder them with over regulation and high taxes.

You seem to be a fan of sweeping and unsupported generalities.

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3. Who do you think gives people the money they need to start a small business? Rich people.

Er, well, no. You're assuming people use their own money to pay for a small business startup, which they largely don't do. That's not to say rich people don't start businesses, they can, but since I would wager most businesses are started by people who take out several loans for startup costs (take it from someone who's mom had to go through the whole small business deal, and we're dirt poor) I don't think the "it hurt's business" response is all that applicable.

Most people get the money to start a small business from venture capitalists who, surprise, surprise, are rich.

We got our money from this new fangled institution called a bank.

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4. Many wealthy people donate a lot of money to charities.

And so do less wealthy people. Who cares? Millionaires won't suddenly stop donating to charity, and even if they do, more effective and larger programs would be financed by the revenue generated by this increase, more than compensating.

Yes, but who contributes more per capita, the rich. You're assuming government programs work, which for the most part they don't. The government's size could easily be halved without significantly impacting the welfare of the general populace.

Yeah, like I said, this is a huge sweeping and totally unsupported generality. Most government programs don't work? Do you have examples? How don't they work? Which programs are you talking about? Which programs could be easily cut? These are just some of the critical questions you have to ask yourself before you make such silly generalities, and this is neither the time nor place to discuss that topic anyway.

How would it hurt small business? Because Vepres says so.
Why would charity donations suddenly cease? Because Vepres says so.
How is the government ineffective? Well, Vepres says so!

Ilikeverin once, stupidly, claimed that Vepres tries to enter a situation and talk policy, but is ignored. It's not that we ignore him, or that I do. It's because these sort of sweeping unsupported generalities where the proof only exists in Vepres' mind that I'm so adverse to discussing things with Vepres here in the Senate or elsewhere. Vepres' arguments depend on a number of presuppositions and acceptance of anecdotal evidence, which I haven't the time for.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2009, 06:01:02 pm »
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This fact kills the bill IMO:
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...when Ronald Reagan cut taxes on his advice, tax receipts from the wealthy began to rise, and have been growing (both as an absolute amount and as a percentage of all taxes collected) ever since. It is fundamentally impossible to collect taxes from the rich without their cooperation.

http://www.caseint.com/john/taxing_the_rich.htm This article gives a compelling argument against overtaxing the rich.

See, the rich will spend more time hiding their money if taxes are raised, causing them to spend less time investing and innovating and decreasing tax revenue.

A few things:

First, the tax rates are substantially different in this proposal than what Reagan had to deal with. In fact, our taxes on most Americans/Atlasians would be lower than what Reagan had to deal with or cut them to for most of his presidency. A 50% rate on income above a million dollars is different than a 50% rate on income above 106k-200k (it varied throughout his presidency) so it's unfair to compare the two when the level of income being taxed was radically different.

Secondly, if you look at the history of tax hikes, they have not been damaging to the economy overall. What you seem to be overlooking is that Reagan himself actually raised taxes in various areas several times throughout his Presidency. FDR, also, raised taxes about ten times throughout his time in office, and there's no evidence that taxes impacted the money supply, personal income, industrial production, wage growth, GDP growth, or the stock market advance.

Clinton raised (many) taxes in 1993, and despite Republican claims that it would lead to a recession and would be a job killer (I invite you to watch Quayle's performance during the 1992 Vice Presidential debate(s), he was hilarious and his rhetoric eerily applicable to Obama) it turned out to be nothing of the sort and we hit record surpluses. (You might say this was during a boom, but A) The same argument could be made to Reagan, and B) It still didn't kill the boom, so it's a stupid point to bring up.) As Beet would say, the idea that taxes are always bad economic policy "flies in the face of the accumulated facts."

Finally, the Bush tax cuts of 2001. The achilles heel of the "tax cuts for the rich stimulate revenues and economic growth" argument. Revenues actually dropped after the implementation of the cuts.

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Sen. John McCain has said President Bush's tax cuts have increased federal revenues. But revenues would have been even higher without them.

...

Federal revenue normally increases every year. In fact, revenues have declined in only five years since 1962. The 35 percent growth between 2003 and 2006 is significant – the last major growth in revenue was between 1997 and 2000, when the economy was booming and federal receipts rose 28.2 percent. But the recent three-year period also comes after three years of decreases, a drop Viard attributes to the 2001 tax cuts and the start of a recession that same year.



...

The percentage growth since 2003 may be historic, but the government’s coffers are no more flush with funds as a percentage of the economy than they have been on average for 40 years.
http://www.factcheck.org/taxes/supply-side_spin.html

As shown, the tax cuts throughout the Bush years did not increase revenue, on the contrary, it contributed to a historic reduction in tax revenue!
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2009, 06:30:39 pm »
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5. Gee, I wonder who creates jobs in this country? Certainly not some poor guy from Alabama.

The rich do not create jobs either as they do not have magical powers.

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So, you'd rather have everybody suffer right now? To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, "...you'd rather the poor be poorer, provided the gap between rich and poor was smaller.

Quoting that bitch at me is generally a mistake. I'm actually in a fairly good mood at the moment, so you haven't actually provoked a rant, but you may not be so lucky in the future.

Oh, and the quote is meaningless and your argument totally devoid of logic or thought.

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How would you feel if you spent your whole life struggling to work up the ladder only to find that the government takes 3/4 of your income when you get to the top?

For most people there is no ladder - well, maybe a stepladder if they're lucky.

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Roll Eyes I take it you don't know anybody who has lived in a big city.

I know plenty of people who live in big cities, actually and have actually lived in one (though not for very long).

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In NYC $1,000,000 a year is upper middle-class at best if you want to live in a decent area.

Only if you're using the British/Commonwealth definition of middle class, I'm afraid. Someone on a million dollars a year is rich, and that's the end of discussion. They might not be as rich as some other rich people, yet rich they are all the same and claims to the contrary deserve to be met with a mixture of laughter and scorn. Btw, all of your qualifiying remarks here are far more interesting than you realise...
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 06:36:17 pm by Mr. Allan Abraham »Logged



Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2009, 06:35:34 pm »
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Because everyone loves statistics!

Percentage of households in NYC with an income of over $200,000 in 2008 (adjusted for inflation, etc)... 6.3%
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« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2009, 07:39:47 pm »
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Because everyone loves statistics!

Percentage of households in NYC with an income of over $200,000 in 2008 (adjusted for inflation, etc)... 6.3%

Did you know 98% of statistics are made up Tongue (sorry, I'm a sucker for paradoxes)

Anyway, here are my main reasons for believing that 60% at the federal level is too high:
1. The higher the taxes, the more rich people will hide their money, thus potentially decreasing revenue.

2. The rich have less money to reinvest. Much of this investing creates or saves jobs.

3. The rich create jobs because many become venture capitalists or found businesses
themselves.

4. While the world is imperfect and some of the rich don't deserve their fortune, think about a CEO who doubles his company's profits, thus making the stock rise and allowing him to expand the company which creates jobs, and then receives a generous salary for the next year. Surely he, who created the livelihood for hundreds or even thousands of people, deserves to be rich. Now, why should we take this money away from him to fund broken social programs? Frankly, I'd rather some get wealthy when they don't deserve to rather than lessening the reward those who do create jobs or help society in some way.

5. Everybody has a chance to climb the ladder. Many don't through choice or ignorance (which the rich aren't to blame for), but anybody can enter middle management or found a successful small business if they try (provided they don't have VERY bad luck).

6. If they have a tax burden similar to middle-class families, they will be more likely to give to charity and help the less fortunate because they don't have to worry about protecting their fortune. I think most rich people are good people, and if the rhetoric against them was lessened and the taxes fairer, they would donate large sums of money to help others.

@ Marokai: I agree that raising taxes isn't always bad, in fact I think it needs to be done. But 60% is far too much. Personally, I think that 42% for $1,000,000 and up is more reasonable. This would mean that, in my region, they would have 48% of their income taxed. This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there
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« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2009, 07:46:09 pm »
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BTW, Al, you are right in that some of my remarks were silly or irrelevant. The Thatcher quote, while relevant in some abstract way, probably wasn't appropriate for this debate. The New York one was also silly. When I get fired up I tend to lose some of my... well... sanity Tongue

I hope the above post lays out my reasoning for my position in a more level-headed, rational matter.

Just so you know Al, while in an ideal world we'd have a flat tax rate, I don't necessarily oppose progressive taxation for practical purposes. I would hate to levy a 50% tax on the middle-class and poor. I just feel that 60% and even 50% is a bit much, particularly when one takes regional taxes into account. So by no means do I think the rich are hurt by these taxes, but from a more economic perspective I think their wealth, 4 out 5 times, benefits middle and working class people.

You did make good points Smiley, and thanks for pointing out those silly arguments of mine Wink (embarrassing for me really Tongue)
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2009, 08:12:49 pm »
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The rhetoric here is astounding. Truly.

First of all, as for the double-taxation point, that's really not our fault, to be honest. We can't, or at least we shouldn't, build a federal income tax bracket on the basis of what a region made impose on top of it! Such things are out of are control, vary wildly, and fluctuate routinely. It's an impractical model to take into effect the taxes of individual regions. Besides, regional governments actually need to run themselves too, you know.

We're to believe, beyond all your ridiculous assumptions, and arguments by your own admission that simply sucked, that this will result in disaster. Well it simply won't do that, and it hasn't in the past went our brackets were far higher and on a far lower income scale.

At the end of the day, we have to pay for things. This proposal is kind to lower income individuals and scales the burden to the top, as it should. Now either you want a progressive system at the end of the day, or you want to throw the burden at the bottom, which I simply won't stand for. This proposal has the interests of most Atlasians in mind, it's that simple.

If you ever wonder why people treat you as if you are a Republican, it's because of your valiant defense of the poor persecuted rich that someone might come to that assumption. Just a thought.
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« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2009, 08:16:01 pm »
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This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.
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« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2009, 08:25:24 pm »
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The rhetoric here is astounding. Truly.

First of all, as for the double-taxation point, that's really not our fault, to be honest. We can't, or at least we shouldn't, build a federal income tax bracket on the basis of what a region made impose on top of it! Such things are out of are control, vary wildly, and fluctuate routinely. It's an impractical model to take into effect the taxes of individual regions. Besides, regional governments actually need to run themselves too, you know.

We're to believe, beyond all your ridiculous assumptions, and arguments by your own admission that simply sucked, that this will result in disaster. Well it simply won't do that, and it hasn't in the past went our brackets were far higher and on a far lower income scale.

At the end of the day, we have to pay for things. This proposal is kind to lower income individuals and scales the burden to the top, as it should. Now either you want a progressive system at the end of the day, or you want to throw the burden at the bottom, which I simply won't stand for. This proposal has the interests of most Atlasians in mind, it's that simple.

If you ever wonder why people treat you as if you are a Republican, it's because of your valiant defense of the poor persecuted rich that someone might come to that assumption. Just a thought.

I said the SOME of my arguments, in retrospect, were foolish.

Now, on the regional issue, I'm just saying the Senate should take that into account, though yes regional tax code can shift rather quickly.

Marokai, as I said, I am not saying the rich are persecuted or suffering, but when they have all this rhetoric against them, and proportionately higher taxes, it's understandable why some become bitter towards the poor and to government. If the government showed a little compassion, particularly in a relatively left-wing country like Atlasia, they would be more compassionate and more willing to invest in government bonds or help the poor through charities. It's human psychology. The rich care more about themselves than anybody else, just as everybody else is. Thus, if you want them to use their wealth for good instead of hiding it, you should show compassion.

As I said, personally a tax of 42% is reasonable, and by no means do I think the lower brackets should be higher, on the contrary I think they should be lower (I favor cost cutting you see, but that discussion is for another time)

So, if the government respects the rich's concerns, they in turn will sympathize more with the concerns of the average man and the government.

If you truly want to increase revenue, I suggest cracking down on tax evading corporations.

This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.
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« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2009, 08:27:37 pm »
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Oooo, I have the honor of being quoted in Marokai's signature, I'm flattered! Tongue
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 08:33:04 pm by Governor Vepres »Logged
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« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2009, 08:46:21 pm »
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This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

Sit down, and I shall tell you a story.

In the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken at war's end. Only then could socialist governments be formed.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 08:49:02 pm by Хahar »Logged

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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2009, 08:49:45 pm »
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This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there

So super-rich might have their feelings hurt if their tax rates go above 50%?

Cry me a river.

See, that attitude is what makes the rich resent the government and the poor and hide their wealth instead of using it to help society.

You know, in the interwar period, the two hundred families that ran the Bank of France thrice imposed a right-wing government after legislative elections had returned a majority on the left. This continued no matter how many conciliatory gestures were made. It would have continued indefinitely, but the two hundred families were broken in the war. Only then could the popular will be expressed.

That was a different time and a different country. Plus, that was on 200 families, what about the thousands of other rich French families?
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« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2009, 09:24:16 pm »
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Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.
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« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2009, 09:30:43 pm »
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Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument Tongue
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« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2009, 09:31:23 pm »
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Anyway, here are my main reasons for believing that 60% at the federal level is too high:
1. The higher the taxes, the more rich people will hide their money, thus potentially decreasing revenue.

2. The rich have less money to reinvest. Much of this investing creates or saves jobs.

3. The rich create jobs because many become venture capitalists or found businesses
themselves.

4. While the world is imperfect and some of the rich don't deserve their fortune, think about a CEO who doubles his company's profits, thus making the stock rise and allowing him to expand the company which creates jobs, and then receives a generous salary for the next year. Surely he, who created the livelihood for hundreds or even thousands of people, deserves to be rich. Now, why should we take this money away from him to fund broken social programs? Frankly, I'd rather some get wealthy when they don't deserve to rather than lessening the reward those who do create jobs or help society in some way.

5. Everybody has a chance to climb the ladder. Many don't through choice or ignorance (which the rich aren't to blame for), but anybody can enter middle management or found a successful small business if they try (provided they don't have VERY bad luck).

6. If they have a tax burden similar to middle-class families, they will be more likely to give to charity and help the less fortunate because they don't have to worry about protecting their fortune. I think most rich people are good people, and if the rhetoric against them was lessened and the taxes fairer, they would donate large sums of money to help others.

@ Marokai: I agree that raising taxes isn't always bad, in fact I think it needs to be done. But 60% is far too much. Personally, I think that 42% for $1,000,000 and up is more reasonable. This would mean that, in my region, they would have 48% of their income taxed. This is close to 50%, but as it is under the psychological impact of "taking half of my income" isn't there
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« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2009, 10:05:54 pm »
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Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument Tongue

I saw that statement and I had to comment immediately since it had no bearing on reality. I have since read the thread and I am happy you have backed off of that statement.

Now the tax rate in question is a bit too high, I would rather have the highest marginal tax rate be 50%. But if the rich are evading taxes, wouldn't it be better to crack down harshly on them? If we guarantee them 10 years in a real prison, I doubt many would try it.

Now as for investment, are you really sure all their investments are put to good use? What if they go around the country buying up property so they can sell it at a later date for profit? Does that really help the economy or just jack up house prices for the rest of us? What if they invest in gold or crude oil futures and other commodities thus raising prices for the rest of us? What if they just invest in wall street banks which come up with fancy financial instruments that ultimately leads to the collapse of our whole economy? Getting money to VC is important but when there is too much money it will inevitably lead to bubbles and money will be wasted. Even when there is less money to go around for investment, the best ideas will still find funding while there will be less money for less appealing ideas that still find funding today because VC's are flush with cash. Basically there will be more competition for investment and the best ideas will prevail.

If taxes on the rich are raised, their contribution to charities will unfortunately fall. Yet you seem to assume that charities are better able to give services to the poor than the government. It may be true when it comes to say, food banks, but is it true for things like providing health care or subsidizing heating oil for the poor (two social safety net bills passed lately). There is most certainly inefficiencies in government, but is there any less inefficiencies in charities?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 10:08:05 pm by sbane »Logged
Vepres
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« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2009, 10:23:58 pm »
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Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument Tongue

I saw that statement and I had to comment immediately since it had no bearing on reality. I have since read the thread and I am happy you have backed off of that statement.

Now the tax rate in question is a bit too high, I would rather have the highest marginal tax rate be 50%. But if the rich are evading taxes, wouldn't it be better to crack down harshly on them? If we guarantee them 10 years in a real prison, I doubt many would try it.

Now as for investment, are you really sure all their investments are put to good use? What if they go around the country buying up property so they can sell it at a later date for profit? Does that really help the economy or just jack up house prices for the rest of us? What if they invest in gold or crude oil futures and other commodities thus raising prices for the rest of us? What if they just invest in wall street banks which come up with fancy financial instruments that ultimately leads to the collapse of our whole economy? Getting money to VC is important but when there is too much money it will inevitably lead to bubbles and money will be wasted. Even when there is less money to go around for investment, the best ideas will still find funding while there will be less money for less appealing ideas that still find funding today because VC's are flush with cash. Basically there will be more competition for investment and the best ideas will prevail.

If taxes on the rich are raised, their contribution to charities will unfortunately fall. Yet you seem to assume that charities are better able to give services to the poor than the government. It may be true when it comes to say, food banks, but is it true for things like providing health care or subsidizing heating oil for the poor (two social safety net bills passed lately). There is most certainly inefficiencies in government, but is there any less inefficiencies in charities?

Charities have demonstrated that they are more efficient than the government in most areas, though yes, they don't cover anything. Now, it's true that the rich don't always invest in things that benefit the common man, but they often do. Again, they invest in small businesses, government bonds, and research, all of which help the everyman. I feel that 60% is too much. Like I said, mid-forties would be sufficient and it wouldn't be unreasonable. I do agree, as I've said elsewhere, cracking down on tax evaders is more important.

I just don't think a tax rate that high is worth the trade-off.

BTW, sbane, I didn't know you read the fantasy boards.
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« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2009, 10:49:27 pm »
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Did you know 98% of statistics are made up Tongue (sorry, I'm a sucker for paradoxes)

This particular statistic, however, comes from the ACS and is about as reliable as things that aren't from a proper census can get...
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« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2009, 11:23:10 pm »
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Did you know 98% of statistics are made up Tongue (sorry, I'm a sucker for paradoxes)

This particular statistic, however, comes from the ACS and is about as reliable as things that aren't from a proper census can get...

I didn't doubt your statistic, I was joking, I just had to throw that made up statistic out there Tongue
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« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2009, 11:27:16 pm »
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Don't punish the rich like that! If you take into account regional and local sales taxes, they will pay almost 3/4 of their income in taxes. I support increasing revenue, but please don't do it this way. After all, %1,000,001 in NYC is merely middle-class, whereas in a rural area it's pretty f#$%ing rich!

No, if you make a million a year you are rich no matter if you live in NYC or SF or in some rural town. Even in my area if an individual is making above 200k or a family is making above 350k, they would be considered rich.

Yeah, I've already admitted I wasn't thinking straight when I made that argument Tongue

I saw that statement and I had to comment immediately since it had no bearing on reality. I have since read the thread and I am happy you have backed off of that statement.

Now the tax rate in question is a bit too high, I would rather have the highest marginal tax rate be 50%. But if the rich are evading taxes, wouldn't it be better to crack down harshly on them? If we guarantee them 10 years in a real prison, I doubt many would try it.

Now as for investment, are you really sure all their investments are put to good use? What if they go around the country buying up property so they can sell it at a later date for profit? Does that really help the economy or just jack up house prices for the rest of us? What if they invest in gold or crude oil futures and other commodities thus raising prices for the rest of us? What if they just invest in wall street banks which come up with fancy financial instruments that ultimately leads to the collapse of our whole economy? Getting money to VC is important but when there is too much money it will inevitably lead to bubbles and money will be wasted. Even when there is less money to go around for investment, the best ideas will still find funding while there will be less money for less appealing ideas that still find funding today because VC's are flush with cash. Basically there will be more competition for investment and the best ideas will prevail.

If taxes on the rich are raised, their contribution to charities will unfortunately fall. Yet you seem to assume that charities are better able to give services to the poor than the government. It may be true when it comes to say, food banks, but is it true for things like providing health care or subsidizing heating oil for the poor (two social safety net bills passed lately). There is most certainly inefficiencies in government, but is there any less inefficiencies in charities?

Charities have demonstrated that they are more efficient than the government in most areas, though yes, they don't cover anything. Now, it's true that the rich don't always invest in things that benefit the common man, but they often do. Again, they invest in small businesses, government bonds, and research, all of which help the everyman. I feel that 60% is too much. Like I said, mid-forties would be sufficient and it wouldn't be unreasonable. I do agree, as I've said elsewhere, cracking down on tax evaders is more important.

I just don't think a tax rate that high is worth the trade-off.

BTW, sbane, I didn't know you read the fantasy boards.

Charities can be more efficient solely because they are managed on a more local scale. Creating a large government bureaucracy is not what I am necessarily advocating, but for some things like health care it is necessary. Other programs should be devolved down to the states or even counties if possible with the feds providing funding and management being the smaller entity's responsibility. Of course this does create accountability issues and so on and so forth.

I didn't use to read the boards much but got more interested during the election. You can thank the RPP for that. I still read the other boards more though.
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Marokai Backbeat
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« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2009, 11:40:49 pm »
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Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.
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People's Speaker North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2009, 11:50:27 pm »
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Charities are good for very small scale operations and depending on in only the short term. For anything substantial or long-term a much larger organization and support is needed that the government, in that situation, can best provide.

Food banks, soup kitchens, and free health clinics are great, but they don't really compare at all to food stamps or a national health care program. Let's be realistic here.

Yes, a charity left us in the dark for a whole week "waiting for a sponsor" Social Services Crisis Funds are instant, they are just in limited amounts.

Charities often lose money in recession especially ones this bad cause they often rely on annuities which lose value with the overall market. So many charities are actually cutting back aid when in fact it is needed the most. The idea that charities are effectice substitute for Gov't aide is proposterous. If you are going to rely on that arguement, Vepres, you might as well just sign off and make it unanimous. Tongue
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