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Forum Post: **Let's get the Facts Straight: Taxes**

Posted 8 years ago on Nov. 22, 2011, 12:44 a.m. EST by nuclearradio (227)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Reference: http://cfo.dc.gov/cfo/frames.asp?doc=/cfo/lib/cfo/09STUDY.pdf

Reality:

If a poor man works 80 hours a week at two $15,000 a year jobs and pays no federal income taxes, but still must pay all other federal, state, and local taxes, he has paid on average 3300.00 or 11% of his income in taxes.

If a rich man makes $218 million a year working a 25 hour week as a CEO and pays hefty income taxes, he has paid on average $17440000 or 8% of his income in taxes.

Yes it's true that the rich man has paid more taxes than the poor man, but both the percentage of taxes paid and the suffering he has had to undergo to pay them is significantly less. The poor man spent his last dime caring for himself and his family. The rich man can spend $10 million a year on himself after taxes and still have more than $190 million dollars to save.

Saying that the "rich pay more than the poor do in taxes" and implying that they shouldn't have to is a specious claim in light of the fact that they pay less tax as a percentage of their income.

As a society, we need to share our government's financial burden equitably, with respect to each person's ability to pay.

To those people who question the validity of this study or its relevance to those making hundreds of millions or billions:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2011/10/12/warren-buffets-effective-federal-income-tax-rate-is-just-11/

46 Comments

46 Comments


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[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 8 years ago

Here is a good article with additional links on the hypertext when you move your curser over them. Like Matt Taibbi article. Mike Lofgren retired after 28 years as a Congressional staffer.

http://www.truth-out.org/have-super-rich-seceded-united-states/1326127151

Also he wrote an article about Iran Rhetoric that is rising in the news. You will be paying taxes of at least $2 trillion for recent wars. but Iran is looking next.

http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/35206/

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

the poor pay a lot more in labor to make other people money

[-] 1 points by adidibidiboy (18) 8 years ago

Thank you for that research!! simply said

[-] 0 points by MercD (20) from Spanaway, WA 8 years ago

I have never known a C-level officer that doesn't work more then 40 hours a week...

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

taxes run the government under our current money system

[-] 0 points by SapereAude (9) from New York City, NY 8 years ago

Not "taxes", optimal income distribution. Income distribution could be measures by a gini coefficient. Set a target "gini coefficient" for the economy and tax and spent accordingly. As simple as that.

[-] 0 points by FrankieJ (86) 8 years ago

First, your obvious bias shows just in your initial 80 hours/ week versus 25 hours/week set up. And I don't know where you're getting the $15K and $218 million from since the report that you cite only compares hypothetical families of 3 making $25K, $50K, $75K, $100K and $150K.

Second, overall averages aren't a very useful way of looking at such numbers since taxes vary significantly by state and local specifics.

For example, comparing the numbers for NYC:

For the $25K case in NYC pays 11.8% or $2,950

For the $150K case in NYC pays 12.1% or $18,186

Beyond that, the study that you cite has some significant flaws for use as you attempt here. For example, while valid as a "plug" when comparing cities on the same basis in the study, the methodology assumes that 20% of rent paid by the $25K family is counted as tax paid. That's not a real number. It results in a significant artificial "credit" for real estate taxes paid of $1,975 out of the total $2,950 or about 2/3rds of the total taxes counted versus almost as much as the $2,250 paid by the $150K family.

If you remove that then the actual tax paid at the $25K end is significantly less at around 4% or $975 versus the numbers above.

[-] 1 points by FrankieJ (86) 8 years ago

Which has little to nothing to do with anything in this thread or with tax proposals that extend down to the $250K/year level. Boom.

[-] 0 points by DoodlesWeaver (64) 8 years ago

A rich man making $218 million a year pays a lot more than $17 million in taxes.

Your post is complete lies and bullshit.

[-] 2 points by nuclearradio (227) 8 years ago

All you have to do is look at the report, bro. It's all there. Saying that I'm a liar does nothing to change the cold, hard facts.

[-] 1 points by lgarz (287) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Yeah but he still has over 200 million to play with. And, that's the point.

Taxing the Middle class means they have less money for basics. Every dollar you take out of the hands of a poor person is a dollar that is not put back into the economy.

Whereas the 200 million the rich guy has is invested in Gold, or a Factory in China, or a Bently from England, or a Jet from France, or a Vacation in Germany, or a Yacht from Italy, but it is not circulating in our Economy.

That's the problem.

[-] 1 points by HarryCrew07 (433) 8 years ago

But what is he doing to make $218 million a year?

[-] 3 points by nucleus (3291) 8 years ago

Hedging the the commodities market he is manipulating.

Stealing workers pensions fund for a golden parachute.

Outsourcing US industry to China for ten cents on the dollar and pocketing the profit.

etc., etc.

[-] 2 points by nuclearradio (227) 8 years ago

Besides nucleus' answer I will remark that many private company CEOs spend 15-30 hours a week in meetings, conferences, and luncheons listening to reports and giving talks, and a few hours a week reviewing numbers. Public company CEOs work very hard sometimes 80-100 hours. But you have to weigh that with what we call "work." He has personal care done by servants in his office, he eats anywhere and everywhere he wants, he can physically be anywhere he wants to be if he isn't appearing publicly. It isn't like a slaving desk job. Many CEOs like to be at "work." It's nicer than "home."

[-] 1 points by powertoothepeople (280) 8 years ago

Do you have a more authoritative source than the OP?

[-] 1 points by DoodlesWeaver (64) 8 years ago

Just look at the federal rates ... state rates ... and local rates.

Without deductions, a person making $218 million a year is looking at about a 50% tax rate or higher in New York City.

Even with deductions, such a person would probably wind up paying between $50 or $60 million to $109 million in taxes.... depending on what expenses where allowable as deductions.

That tax rate would be lower in other states and cities, but in New York City, the combined tax rates are VERY high.

[-] 2 points by nuclearradio (227) 8 years ago

We have a saying here - Pics or it didn't happen. I need a more authoritative source than you saying "Just look at the rates." Rates don't account for write-offs, deductions, and loopholes.

[-] 0 points by whateverwhatever (25) 8 years ago

Additionally the mechanism of inflating (debasing) the currency stock results in a de facto regressive tax. The price increases that result from inflated currency stock hits those with lower and fixed incomes harder than it does the well-to-do and politically connected.

[-] 0 points by FrankieJ (86) 8 years ago

Correct. And that has been the largest effect on real wealth/cost of living in recent years.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 8 years ago

I think the vast majority of people in the US would support a hefty tax on someone making $218 million per year. Resistance starts to build when people want to raise taxes on those making $218K per year because they get categorized as rich.

[-] 0 points by AuditElmerFudd (259) 8 years ago

Yes, but people would also like to eventually like to think they might one day also be rich, and with the question framed in those terms they have said they do not want to institute punitive taxation on the rich. Fact.

[-] 1 points by nuclearradio (227) 8 years ago

The joke is on them, then. The average man might make a few hundred thousand a year one day given luck and hard work. Not everybody can be truly rich.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 8 years ago

I agree. I actually support a flat tax with almost no deductions, which I realize is not popular here in OWS. I was just saying that it is easier to stomach an increase on those making millions of dollars a year as compared to those making a few hundred thousand.

[-] 1 points by WFCapitalist07 (24) 8 years ago

Given that our parasitic government is here to stay I agree with your idea about a flat tax. Progressive taxes punish those who are successful for their success.

[-] 2 points by nuclearradio (227) 8 years ago

But Flat taxes are regressive in nature. Progressive taxes also collect income from those sitting on huge pools of liquidity, raking in interest.

[-] -1 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

Of course they pay less as a percentage! Why the hell am I busting my ass to grow my company if I can't take home more and more of my own money?

[-] -1 points by js290 (19) 8 years ago

Inflation Basics Assume inflation is at a modest 3%/yr. If you try to save $100 today, next year it will only be worth $97. In 20 years, it'll only be worth $54.38. Let's assume your hourly wage is $20/hr. It took you five hours of real labor to earn $100. In 20 years, it'll be worth less than 3 hours of labor. 2 hours was stolen from you. To further illustrate the regressive nature of the inflation tax, if your hourly wage was $10/hr, more than 4 hours would have been stolen from you.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ergobirch#p/u/0/5iBSBVew-3Y

[-] 2 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

Inflation isn't a tax though.

[-] 0 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

He means that it acts like a tax because it raises the price of commodities. It's not the same as the government raising income tax or some other tax policy wise.

[-] 0 points by js290 (19) 8 years ago

Where do you think the "money" comes from for govt spending? What do you suppose "monetizing the debt" means? Who do you think suffers most from rising prices of commodities? Inflation is a subversive and regressive tax on the 99%. Outright "taxing" the rich in the limited sense that you're defining it doesn't help the 99% suffering from the inflation tax. Understand this (the monetary system), and you begin to understand the root cause of the correctly observed economic injustices. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx16a72j__8

[-] 1 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

Money that the government comes from taxes. Monetizing debt means the government buying up debt. The poor suffer the most from rising commodity prices (as long as their income does not rise equally).

Inflation still isn't a tax, it just naturally happens in free markets.

Controlling inflation and having no taxes on food helps the poor; as does competition between firms.

[-] 1 points by js290 (19) 8 years ago

How does the govt buy up debt? "Free markets?" Where?! http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-september-18-2007/alan-greenspan

[-] 0 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

It buys up the debt through bailouts. This isn't a secret.

[-] 1 points by js290 (19) 8 years ago

You're missing the point. Where does the money for the bailouts come from?

[-] 0 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

The taxpayers or by printing money. If that's what you're looking for, there's not much of a point there that hasn't already been made 100,000 times.

[-] 1 points by js290 (19) 8 years ago

Printing money causes inflation, which is a tax that disproportionately affects the 99%. When the govt can't or won't outright tax us, they'll do it indirectly by increasing the money supply (aka increasing liquidity... aka increasing credit). If this point has to be made 100,001 times, so be it because this is the fundamental issue that matters: Inflation is a subversive and regressive tax on the 99%. http://www.youtube.com/user/ergobirch#p/u/0/5iBSBVew-3Y

[-] 0 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

It's still not technically a "tax" though. There are a lot of things that cause inflation and printing money is just one.

[-] 1 points by js290 (19) 8 years ago

That's what makes it so sinister; it's taxation without representation. Of all the factors that could cause inflation, which one has the biggest effect? http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-1-2011/america-s-next-tarp-model?xrs=playershare_fb

[-] 0 points by fuzzyp (302) 8 years ago

Taxation is the act of government taking money. Inflation is devaluation of currency and is naturally occuring in free markets.

[-] -1 points by Mellymell (-1) 8 years ago

"with respect to each person's ability to pay" completely canceled your advocacy of equality in taxation. If your figures are true (and I'll just assume that they are), what would be equal is a standard, flat tax, not a progressive system (as the quoted portion seems to appeal to).

Don't get me wrong. I'm not necessarily opposed to progressive taxation. I just don't think you should mix terms. Progressive taxation may be equitable (and that's debatable); but let's be real... it's definitely not equal.

[-] -1 points by LiberalasinCato (1) 8 years ago

"Poor" and "rich" are simply symptoms of a larger illness. Attacking those with a more progressed version of an illness is not only wrong, but is not humane. The sickness is greed; greed for control and power. However, the cure is not equality - that only leads to the further symptoms we define as socialism, communism, and in the most fatal stages, fascism. The money system is the sickness, greed is the vehicle to pass it on, and lack of economic education is the field of potential infection. Instead of coveting what others have, pandering to the system to take it back from them and redistribute it (in let's be truthful - unfair ways) only enhances the status quo. It is like asking the firing squad to turn their weapons on themselves. No. The answer is to defy the system by removing consent, ignoring its desire to control, and living our lives with love for one another. I think Ghandi would prefer to "occupy love" than anywhere else, for real power is there, not in false money and authority systems laid out by bandits and killers. Civil disobedience is not crying to the government to change it's proven corrupt ways, it is casting off that government by natural right in search of shoring up individual liberties against erosion by collective desire. We are each sovereign and until that is accepted and respected, the people will always be used by tyrants as tools of control against themselves. That would be the demonstration of what Marc Stevens has termed "residual tyranny".

So, who should "pay"? If you mean loss, then let the government lose; lose power, influence, the ability to take on debt in our name...the ability to send our armed forces into illegal wars, the ability to besmirch each of our names because we call this our nation. But who WILL pay? If we, each as individuals do not recognize personal sovereignty and natural rights as authority over collective drone mentality, then we will continue to pay, rich or poor, with our honor, lives and liberty, until we are dessicated hulls sucked dry by tyrants laughing at our folly to remove our consent to their rule over our lives. Wake up.