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DATA COMMANDER
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May 19, 2011, 06:44:06 AM
 #21

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=03p8j0mh

EZ game.

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FooDSt4mP
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May 19, 2011, 07:05:59 AM
 #22

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=03p8j0mh

EZ game.

If only DATA COMMANDER controlled the budget...

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May 22, 2011, 05:06:47 AM
 #23

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=03p8j0mh

EZ game.

wish that website was an actual a ballot and we were voting on it. 
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May 22, 2011, 05:26:42 AM
 #24

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=03p8j0mh

EZ game.

wish that website was an actual a ballot and we were voting on it. 

Better yet, I will pretend that I am somehow participating in the Democratic process and am somehow making a meaningful difference when I vote for politicians.

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May 22, 2011, 10:34:56 PM
 #25

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

EZ game.

You want to "actually tax the rich" when the top 5% of income earners currently pays about 60% of Federal income taxes?  Exactly what percentage of other peoples' earnings do you think you're entitled to?
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May 22, 2011, 10:38:04 PM
 #26

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

EZ game.

You want to "actually tax the rich" when the top 5% of income earners currently pays about 60% of Federal income taxes?  Exactly what percentage of other peoples' earnings do you think you're entitled to?

All of it.

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May 23, 2011, 01:40:10 AM
 #27

Some moderate reductions in military spending, social security only for old people, actually tax the rich:

EZ game.

You want to "actually tax the rich" when the top 5% of income earners currently pays about 60% of Federal income taxes?  Exactly what percentage of other peoples' earnings do you think you're entitled to?

All of it.

As much as they want the government to spend... they're the ones who benefit the most.  Those top 5% of tax returns are all corporations.

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May 23, 2011, 02:06:30 AM
 #28


As much as they want the government to spend... they're the ones who benefit the most.  Those top 5% of tax returns are all corporations.

Um no, sorry. We're talking about personal income taxes here, not corporations. The top 5% of individual earners in the US pay for 60% of personal income tax revenue.  This means, if there are 20 people, the richest one pays for the government "services" used by 11 of the other people. It's absurdly immoral for one person to be forced to subsidize the lifestyle of someone else... much less 11 others. 

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May 23, 2011, 02:10:52 AM
 #29


As much as they want the government to spend... they're the ones who benefit the most.  Those top 5% of tax returns are all corporations.

Um no, sorry. We're talking about personal income taxes here, not corporations. The top 5% of individual earners in the US pay for 60% of personal income tax revenue [citation required].  This means, if there are 20 people, the richest one pays for the government "services" used by 11 of the other people. It's absurdly immoral for one person to be forced to subsidize the lifestyle of someone else... much less 11 others. 



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May 23, 2011, 02:13:53 AM
 #30

Damnit, I hate when sites rearrange everything and leave 404s around.

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May 23, 2011, 02:15:31 AM
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Oops! Your page could not be found then redirected to index.cfm

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May 23, 2011, 02:21:37 AM
 #32

Nevermind that, I found the original numbers at the IRS web site.

For the last year available, 2008:

Quote
For 2008, the returns in the top 5-percent group (returns reporting AGI of $159,619 or more) reported 34.7 percent of total AGI and 58.7 percent of income tax, compared to 37.4 percent and 60.6 percent, respectively, for 2007 (when the AGI fl oor was $160,041). For 2008, returns in the top 10-percent group (returns with AGI of at least $113,799) reported 45.8 percent of AGI and paid 69.9 percent of income tax. For 2007, the returns in this percentile group (with AGI of $113,018 or more) reported 48.1 percent of total AGI and 71.2 percent of income tax. The top 50-percent group (reporting AGI of $33,048 or more) accounted for 87.2 percent of AGI and paid almost all (97.3 percent) of the income tax for 2008.

In other words, the 5%/60% statistic is exactly what the IRS is claiming.

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May 23, 2011, 02:51:36 AM
 #33

*Please excuse the use of the "US" perspective (we = "US Citizens", etc.)  It's just easier to write how I'm used to discussing things in person*

I did find some data from 2000: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?DocID=221&Topic2id=20&Topic3id=22

If I'm reading it right, at that point the top 5% of individuals paid 49.1% of income taxes.  I suppose it could have gone up 10% in the past 11 years, but I don't know.  It probably has considering the widening gap between the wealthy and the poor [http://www.slate.com/id/2267157].  The wealthy have enough capital and credit to take advantage of the inflationary nature of the dollar (pay for it next month for no interest and you're paying it off with dollars that are worth less).  And the credit card companies are able to offer the such fantastic credit because they fuck you in the ass if you the shit hits the fan one month and you can't pay your bill until it's 5 days late.  When you're poor, it doesn't take much to screw up your finances.  I live below the poverty line, but that's my choice.  I have a degree, and I could get a much higher paying job.  I have very few needs, and I prefer to work less and spend more time in low cost leisure activities.  Thankfully, I barely use my credit and have never gotten myself into too much trouble, but I've seen it happen many times.  Those at the top trade less value for the goods they buy while those at the bottom get chewed up.  The wealthy get all kinds of perks that companies are only able to offer them by squeezing more out of the little guy.  I don't think we should pull the poor out of their pit, but I do think we should at lease have a ladder in place they can climb if they choose.  One that doesn't constantly move downwards.  Medical expenses happen, car accidents happen, lots of things can happen.  Even if you work hard 40 hours a week, an accident of illness can be devastating.  For many, there is not much to go around after gas and groceries.  It's easy to forget these people when you insulate yourself from them.  But it's impossible when you witness it every day.  The only workable remedy I can imagine is more demand for labor.  Many are not cut out for an information economy, and if we move away from the jobs they can do, they will end up being supported by the welfare system until their blood lines die out.  Most people on welfare reproduce more quickly because they get paid more per child, so don't count on that happening any time soon.

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May 23, 2011, 02:52:00 AM
 #34

Nevermind that, I found the original numbers at the IRS web site.

For the last year available, 2008:

Quote
For 2008, the returns in the top 5-percent group (returns reporting AGI of $159,619 or more) reported 34.7 percent of total AGI and 58.7 percent of income tax, compared to 37.4 percent and 60.6 percent, respectively, for 2007 (when the AGI fl oor was $160,041). For 2008, returns in the top 10-percent group (returns with AGI of at least $113,799) reported 45.8 percent of AGI and paid 69.9 percent of income tax. For 2007, the returns in this percentile group (with AGI of $113,018 or more) reported 48.1 percent of total AGI and 71.2 percent of income tax. The top 50-percent group (reporting AGI of $33,048 or more) accounted for 87.2 percent of AGI and paid almost all (97.3 percent) of the income tax for 2008.

In other words, the 5%/60% statistic is exactly what the IRS is claiming.

Thanks, I concede that point.

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May 24, 2011, 08:33:04 PM
 #35

Sorry for not stating the source initially. My number came from here, and I suspect their numbers come from the IRS as shown in a preceding comment.

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

Contrary to popular opinion, "the evil rich" carry this country, not only in productive output but also in providing the plurality of warm blood from which Washington feeds.

In a more fair world, perhaps the poor should pay all the taxes, for they haven't contributed to society as much as the rich (indeed the wealth of the rich is [usually] a direct indication of the value provided to society in the marketplace).
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May 24, 2011, 09:45:49 PM
 #36

Sorry for not stating the source initially. My number came from here, and I suspect their numbers come from the IRS as shown in a preceding comment.

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

Contrary to popular opinion, "the evil rich" carry this country, not only in productive output but also in providing the plurality of warm blood from which Washington feeds.

In a more fair world, perhaps the poor should pay all the taxes, for they haven't contributed to society as much as the rich (indeed the wealth of the rich is [usually] a direct indication of the value provided to society in the marketplace).

The poor absolutely have not contributed as much to society as the wealthy.  But the also reap far less benefit from it.  Your opinion assumes I'm interested in the productive output of the wealthy.  I have different valuations of things then "society in the marketplace".  Do I really deserve to be punished (as you suggest) for preferring spending my time with friends and family over optimizing my "market value"?  When you get to the end, which would you rather look back and remember: your loved ones, or your bank balance?  You're welcome to sacrifice your life pursuing riches, but don't force your valuations on me.  By legal standards, I am "poor".  But when I'm surrounded by people I care for and who care about me, I feel pretty rich.

Don't feel sorry for me, I'm smart, capable, and I live below the poverty line by choice.  However, you should feel bad for the thousands of laborers that are put out of jobs based on the decisions of those who blindly seek to optimize profit.  All they see are the numbers, while here in reality, people lose their livelihoods and become chronic welfare cases.  If they really want to keep taxes down, they would be a little more sympathetic to how their decisions effect real people.  The majority of people are not cut out for the ventures that give the highest rate of return.  They could provide labor for a profitable business, but investors want more profit than they can offer.  You can't leave over half the country behind.  Besides, when those profit seekers create bubbles, they have the information available to get out before they pop.  Who's left holding the overvalued assets?  Retirement accounts that had little to no control over how the money was invested.  Your suggestion that it would be more fair to tax the poor offends me deeply.  Fuck you.

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May 24, 2011, 11:16:54 PM
 #37

Sorry for not stating the source initially. My number came from here, and I suspect their numbers come from the IRS as shown in a preceding comment.

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

Contrary to popular opinion, "the evil rich" carry this country, not only in productive output but also in providing the plurality of warm blood from which Washington feeds.

In a more fair world, perhaps the poor should pay all the taxes, for they haven't contributed to society as much as the rich (indeed the wealth of the rich is [usually] a direct indication of the value provided to society in the marketplace).

I'm sorry wha, they carry the country in productive output? As in the 5% of people you claim are paying all the taxes are also producing everything? As in they themselves are producing it? Or they are the ones with the capital to finance paying other people to produce the machinery and create the infrastructure that will then be used by the rest of the country to produce things? Pretty fine distinction between the two.

Can you define contribution? If a poor person works 8 hours a day producing X numbers of widget A for a rich person, he is inherently profitable or he would be fired. He has thus generated both a useful good for society and a profit for a rich person. So far he sounds pretty productive and contributing.
Now the poor person goes home after buying some gas from Corporation W, eats the food his wife shopped for at Store Y, and watches the TV he bought at Store Z.
At the end of the year after he has paid all his taxes, rent, insurance, bought all his clothes and food and cars, electronics, gas, etc. he finds he has 0 physical dollars (though he owns some property).
Thus 100% of his "pay" has returned to the system through both taxes and purchases, as well as creating goods for society and generating profit for a rich person. That sounds like he has contributed a lot to me, although the tax portion itself might not be that large, he has literally given more than everything back.

Meanwhile the rich person has used their capital to create more wealth for themselves, paid 15% (oh right, capital gains taxes, not income taxes!) on it, merely transferred the poor person(s) production to society and likely not bought much more than the poor person (excepting perhaps a few luxuries which slush money around a much smaller more monied pool).

That is a very specific and non-extensible example obviously, but it makes clear how ridiculous it is to tout numbers like income taxes, but if you insist:

2009 US Federal Budget -- $1.21 trillion - Individual income tax
                                    $949.4 billion - Social Security and other payroll taxes
                                    $339.2 billion - Corporate income tax
                                    $172.2 billion -- Misc lumped taxes

Even if we ignore the fact that rich people do not make most of their money from income, but rather from capital gains...

Income taxes make up less than half the budget yet it is 100% of the focus of people crying foul for poor rich people paying out. Hey look payroll taxes make up almost as much as individual income taxes, obviously the rich must pay most of that too right? Except that the payroll tax is capped on the first $100,000 of your income. So if you made 50,000,000 dollars last year, you paid taxes on $100,000 for social security. Suddenly rich people don't seem like they're paying as much tax when half of what goes to the govt is mostly subsidized by the middle class.

Blah blah blah. Anyway, I don't really want to get too into this (I'm not going to bring up state and local/sales taxes), but these juvenile statesments about how we should all be on our knees sucking off the rich because they're our saviors are really ridiculous, and it needs some saying so.
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May 25, 2011, 01:20:33 AM
 #38

I'm sorry wha, they carry the country in productive output? As in the 5% of people you claim are paying all the taxes are also producing everything? As in they themselves are producing it? Or they are the ones with the capital to finance paying other people to produce the machinery and create the infrastructure that will then be used by the rest of the country to produce things? Pretty fine distinction between the two.
Are you saying that we would be better off without that accumulated capital?  Or just that we should take it away from those that produced and saved it?

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May 25, 2011, 02:58:30 AM
 #39


The poor absolutely have not contributed as much to society as the wealthy.  But the also reap far less benefit from it.  Your opinion assumes I'm interested in the productive output of the wealthy.  I have different valuations of things then "society in the marketplace".  Do I really deserve to be punished (as you suggest) for preferring spending my time with friends and family over optimizing my "market value"? 

Hmmm your point here is perfectly valid. My suggestion that the poor be taxed instead of the rich was somewhat sarcastic of course - neither rich nor poor should be taxed. But, please refrain from swearing at me.
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May 25, 2011, 03:09:58 AM
 #40

@bcpokey

Your post was full of some important economic fallacies, but I want to focus on one of them in particular. "Spending money" does not equal "contributing to the economy" as you so state. While spending money may increase GDP (as GDP measures... spending), doing so for the purpose of consumption is a net drain on economic health, not a benefit. A poor person buying a burrito is not helping the economy - rather, he has consumed resources by so doing. When he is at work, producing, then he is benefiting the economy. Knowing whether a given expense is "productive" or "consumptive" is very important. But don't worry, most politicians don't know the difference either.

And I never said we should "be on our knees sucking off the rich," did I? I said merely that they ought not be taxed. And you must see the irony in calling my statements "juvenile" when, in the very same sentence, you equate reduction in taxation with oral love-making.  Roll Eyes
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