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Forum Post: Tax System Insures That Bottom 50% Holds Le$$ Than 1% Our Nation's Wealth

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 22, 2011, 7:43 p.m. EST by PeteG2 (393)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

All attempts to improve the economic fortunes of working poor and middle class must include consideration of this shameful fact:

Warren Buffett, a billionaire, pays a total tax rate (combined federal, state, local .. yes including indirect corporate taxes) of 11% of his total income and investment gains. A millionaire couple can easily pay only 20% of their investment gains in total taxes (again fed, state, local taxes and 75% of these taxes are indirect corporate taxes: their out-of pocket direct tax rate is 4%). A typical single person earning a minimum wage pays total taxes (fed, state, local) amounting to 37% of her wages, more than triple Mr. Buffett’s rate. Annually, Mr. Buffett pays taxes that are 2% of his wealth (net worth), while the majority of minimum-wage earners pay more than a 100-fold higher rate on their wealth. No joke. See http://fairsharetaxes.org for spreadsheets.

The top 1% in the US have gone from owning 22% to 40% of the nation's wealth in the last thirty years. This is largely due to the tax cuts for the wealthy investor class, started under Reagan 30 years ago. Since then, the wealthy have had one tax cut after another, the national debt as percent of GDP has gone steadily up, and the share of both income and wealth of the top few percent has skyrocketed. The top 10% now take about half of the nation's income.

The tax cuts for the rich were supposed to encourage investment and strengthen the economy. Instead, average GDP growth during the 30 years since the tax-cuts-for-the-rich began has dropped 25% compared to the 30 prior years. When President Clinton increased taxes on the wealthy, the GOP predicted recessions and unemployment. Instead we had the best economic decade of the century. The GOP and President Bush reduced taxes on the wealthy and we suffered our worst economy in 80 years. Our only other worse recession (the Depression) occurred the last time the top 1% accumulated 40% of the nation's wealth, soon after Republicans slashed taxes on the wealthy in the 1920's. Coincidence?

How do tax cuts for wealthy investors produce worse growth? Here is the main way: The favored tax treatment for investments and the wealth concentration that resulted leads to the demand for investments exceeding the supply of worthy investments ... Any attempt at regulation is overwhelmed by "supply and demand" market forces (see Econ 101) ... The price of investments MUST rise "artificially" and unsustainably ... Investment bubble ... Burst bubble ... Recession ... Every 6-8 years all but the wealthiest are at risk of losing their jobs, their homes, their opportunity to educate their kids, and their retirement savings ... and the government loses more tax revenue.

A fair tax system also promotes democracy. By reducing the concentration of wealth into very few families, it reduces their undue influence on our laws and government. Right now the wealthy use their undue power to cut their taxes and otherwise accumulate more wealth, and so more power, in a vicious cycle. Cutting taxes for the working poor and middle class means increased education opportunity for all increases the likelihood that future generations elect governments that are more likely to make further smart policy decisions.

Finally, under a fair system of taxes, the wealthy would benefit from the knowledge that they are giving back their fair share to the society. Past generations of workers, taxpayers, and soldiers have made the prosperity of today’s wealthy possible. Today’s wealthy should be willing to contribute their fair share to making the prosperity of future generations possible. More and more of the wealthy are coming to this realization and in the words of a real estate millionaire: "Those of us who have the greatest ability to pay are not being asked to. I am not keen on being part of the freeloader class."

For more, including a proposal for comprehensive tax reform which would have everyone pay their fair share, cut middle-class taxes, reduce the deficit, improve the economy for everyone, and strengthen the US as a for good in the world, see...

http://fairsharetaxes.org

533 Comments

533 Comments


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[-] 4 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Kirk Miller-Gilletti The conserve in "Conservative".. is generally recognized as placing emphasis, celebrating, and otherwise supporting those aspects of life worth keeping. Slavery was an institution supported by fewer and fewer people, and that support has no connection conservative as a political or cultural philosophy of the mid 19th century, let alone contemporary life in the West (including Australia). Did supporters of slavery want to conserve a way of life..? Yes, that conservation and the Conservative "movement" have about as much in common as modern day Conservatives have with the modern day environmental conservation movement have

Peter Gemsbok: Yes Kirk, just like conservative segregationists in the south "celebrated" their grand tradition of separate lunch counters, schools, opportunities for blacks and whites ... they all claimed to be supporting those aspects of (their privileged) lives they thought worth keeping. Some felt so strongly they were willing to kill (ie lynch) for their conservative ideals.

Just like today, conservatives want to "celebrate" their form of capitalism in which the wealthy few pay total taxes at rates about one-third of what the working poor and middle class pay. Just as surely as in the segregationist south, people are suffering and dieing from this social injustice. Today's conservatives, just like all their predecessors will wind up defeated and on the wrong side of history.

http://fairsharetaxes.org/

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17718) 2 years ago

In the light of your excellent posts, you may also be interested in the following :

a) "Romney Hiding Millions in Dozens of Secret Offshore Accounts : Report", by Stephen C. Webster ; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30296.htm ,

b) "Massive File on Romney Hits Internet, Likely from 2008 McCain Campaign", by 'The Daily Caller' ; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30299.htm ,

c) REVEALED: The 30 American Companies That Paid Less Than $0 In Income Tax Over The Last 3 Years : http://www.businessinsider.com/these-are-the-30-american-companies-that-paid-less-than-zero-income-tax-from-2008-2010-2011-11?op=1#ixzz1k1O9JNzz &

d) http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf &

e) The Indispensable Documentary Film, "INSIDE JOB" : http://documentarystorm.com/inside-job/ ; 'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse.

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 1 year ago

"Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

What could be clearer? Business owners, like the rest of us, have profited from government-build roads, government public education, freedom, etc. paid for with taxes we all pay and the blood of our brave soldiers, past and present. The only problem is some of the wealthy elite don't want to pay their fair share in proportion to the profits they made from the American system.

If you look at all federal, state, local, (including corp taxes) Mr. Romney pays a total tax rate of 14% of his annual investment income and gains. A minimum wage worker pays over 30% of her wages. Mr. Romney pays less than 2% of his accumulated wealth. The minimum wage worker pays over 500% of hers.

No joke. See FairShareTaxes (google it) for the figures. Also at that website is an elegant proposal for fundamental reform of all our tax laws ... that would save middle-class and working-poor thousands every year, fix the distortions that are destroying our economy and democracy, fund education-research-infrastructure, & end deficits.

[-] 4 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 2 years ago

reasonable to me... major tax reform is much needed

[-] 3 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks- Take a look at the website. My position and proposals were built with the input of dozens and alot of reading. I'm open to more suggestions-use the contact me page at the site. If you think friends, the public at large, or politicians would be interested in what we've come up with, spread the word. Here's some ideas: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks for the links. Believe it or not, my fair share tax proposal does away with corp taxes - the reason is corps just write the check. In the end people pay the taxes. Workers (reduced pay) and consumers (higher prices) pay half these taxes. Investor/owners pay the other half.

So instead under my plan, corps have to distribute nearly all their profits to owners who pay taxes on these distributions ... at the same rate that workers pay on wages. (now these dividends are taxed at much lower rates than wages.) This eliminates about 6 problems with the current corporate taxes - all of which give corps more power and money.

See details at: http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] -1 points by Ninetyninenot (-57) 2 years ago

The tax system lets nearly 50% of the people completely off the hook in supporting their federal government.

[-] 1 points by tomtalltree (5) from Houlton, ME 2 years ago

What ass did you pull that number out of?

[-] 3 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Well it's official, and I was not far off. Mr. Romney announced he pays about a 15% federal income tax rate. And again if you include unrealized capital gains, which grow tax-free, it's probably more like 10%. And clearly it's almost all investment income, so no payroll tax to fund Social Security on his income.

Meanwhile, even a minimum-wage workers typically pay 7.5% in Social Security taxes on every dollar of wages. If you believe economists, the employer portion of - another 7.5%, is also paid by the worker in reduced wages. That's 15%. Add in sales taxes, property taxes, gas taxes and you go over 30% of wages paid in taxes by a minimum-wage earner. [Note: Minimum-wage-workers are among the 50% constantly maligned by the GOP as paying NO (federal income) taxes.]

Yes, doubt Mr. Romney would prefer to discuss all this in a "quiet room" with h Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and a few other millionaire buddies.

That's not gonna happen. Those on the side of justice are coming: BHO, OWS, EW, http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17718) 2 years ago

With reference to Taxation, how come people who say things like "Taxes are too high" and "Government is too large and and needs to be reduced," NEVER seem to have any questions, critique or even notion of The Extreme Excesses of Banksters and The Massive US Military Empire and its Gargantuan Expenditures ?!

Do such costs, expenses & serviceable liabilities have an impact on domestic taxation d'you think ?!!

If the government of The U$A was truly 'democratic', then its size wouldn't be the problem but as a pissant apology of a demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy is prevalent, whereby there is merely a "Government OF The 99% BY a 1% FOR a Parasitic 0.01%" ... then at the very least, complaining IF not actually Demonstrating, Protesting and 'Occupying' becomes a moral imperative for all people of conscience.

A very real and fundamental point to bear in mind is that taxes on individual entrepreneurs, small businesses and just about everyone else in US/UK society (The 99%), would be lower if Imperial Wars could be ended AND IF the 1% and all the Corporations (apparently 'legally individual persons') paid their Proper and Fair Share of the Taxes ! The Banking Corporations in particular are the primary culprits in this 'Cult of Wealth & Tax avoidance and evasion' And their opposition to The 'Tobin' / Financial Transaction / "Robin Hood", Tax, is utterly unconscionable given the long term existence of the 'Purchase / Sales Taxes' and 'Value Added Tax' (currently 20% in The UK!), which are highly regressive and Everyone Else ie. The 99%, has to pay !!

I'm not a violent person other than in self-defence but I'm beginning to have dreams about cutting out a senior banker's cold, dead heart with a rusty spoon ... and claiming it AS self-defence !!!

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 2 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I support what appears to be the central goal of Occupy: Fairness and Equal Opportunity for all. Yet it is a long uphill battle when one party openly flaunts it's defense of lower tax rates for wealthy investors than those paid by poor workers and has a presidential candidate who is proud of taking advantage of the corrupt tax system AND still has the support of some of the very people it is shafting.

Federal income taxes only amount to 30% of the taxes we pay. The other 70% includes social security taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and gas taxes. They shift the tax burden onto the working poor and middle class. But almost no one takes a serious look at those numbers.

If you do the calculation with those other taxes, a single minimum wage earner can easily pay over 30% of her wages in taxes, (even though she may next to nothing in federal income taxes). Here's a website that goes through the calculation of all the taxes we pay ... for the working-poor, the middle class, Warren Buffett, and Mitt Romney: http://fairsharetaxes.org It also has a great proposal for a really fair, really simple, economy saving tax system for the US.

Guess what?

Romney pays 14% of his investment gains and income, including corporate taxes A minimum-wage worker pays 34% of her wages.

Romney pays taxes 2% of his net worth (accumulated wealth). A typical minimum wage worker pays taxes over 400% of her net worth.

Pete fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 2 points by SirPoeticJustice (628) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You are using the term insurance to mean the same thing as ensure.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes thanks. I noticed after I posted and the forum software won't let me edit the title. The goof aside, what do you think of the content of the piece?

[-] 2 points by SirPoeticJustice (628) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I kind of liked your gaff. It provokes thought. A friend put this piece together and used some of what you said in the latest revision.

http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/2011/10/2011-occupy-america-peoples-official.html

[-] 2 points by OurTimes2011 (377) from Arlington, VA 2 years ago

I agree.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks. Please consider doing some of the things on this link to get more folks to consider my ideas and Fair Share Tax Proposal:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx

[-] 2 points by testingtheproject53 (6) from Collegeville, PA 2 years ago

Excellent!

[-] 2 points by checkingIN356 (5) 2 years ago

I agree, also please read Wildfire: the Legislation that Ignited the Great Recession, it has many good ideas as well.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks- just ordered it form my public library. Here's the amazon link for anyone interested: http://www.amazon.com/Wildfire-Legislation-Ignited-Great-Recession/dp/1617392839

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks. If you'd like to do something to get more people to see my ideas and tax proposal, please send this link to friends who might be interesed:

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 2 points by testingtheproject53 (6) from Collegeville, PA 2 years ago
[-] 0 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The starting elements of the Fair Share Tax Proposal:

In summary, at all levels of government, 1) regressive, inefficient, and hidden indirect taxes are eliminated; 2) the income tax is greatly simplified and its rates are reduced; 3) an annual net-worth (accumulated wealth) tax is substituted for the capital gains and estate taxes; and 4) corporate taxes are ended (shifting the burden of corporate taxes from the middle class to the profiting investors).

  • Eliminate payroll (Social Security, Medicare) taxes (regressive; instead these programs paid from general tax revenue)
  • Eliminate state income taxes in their current form (inefficient; instead states set & receive a surcharge on federal taxes)
  • Eliminate sales and use taxes (regressive)
  • Eliminate property taxes (very regressive; instead municipalities set & receive a surcharge on federal taxes)
  • Eliminate capital gains taxes (currently most gains go untaxed; instead tax all gains indirectly through the Net-worth Tax)
  • Eliminate estate taxes (instead collected in manageable bits through the Net-worth Tax)
  • Eliminate corporate taxes (currently half are paid by labor; instead the human owners of corporations are taxed directly-below)
  • Eliminate tolls and lotteries (regressive and inefficient)
[-] 0 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

THE FAIR SHARE TAX PLAN 1. Eliminate: Social Security taxes (fund Social Security from general revenue), sales taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes and tolls.

  1. A reformed very simple Federal Income Tax of 18-24% on income above a realistic poverty level ($30,000 for a family of three). Deductions only for medical expenses exceeding 10% of income and contributions to a tax-free account. Effective rates: 10% on $75,000; 20% on $400,000

  2. A Federal Net-Worth Tax of 1-2% on accumulated wealth over ~$800,000. Effective rates: 0.2%($2000) on $1 million; 2%($600,000) on $30 million.

  3. State and local governments fund all their spending by setting and collecting a percent surcharge on each household's federal tax bill.

  4. Misc: Federal War-Tax surcharge whenever at war. Excise tax on fossil-fuels, cigarettes, etc. Tax breaks for small business employers. Taxes on corporate profits paid directly by corporation owners. Automatic tax-free savings accounts with opt-out.

details: http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 2 points by NielsH (212) 2 years ago

Sounds reasonable at first glance. Would be a good starting point for discussion.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks. If you can think of any friends, pundits, or politicians that might be interested in looking at my ideas: Please consider doing a couple of things suggested my Spread the Word Page:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx

[-] 1 points by knowledge (2) 2 years ago

Download the torrent: "Truth and Reasons for Occupying America's Streets." If you leave your freedom in the hands of those in public office then you will no longer have that freedom. Democracy is the fraud of plutocracy! This is the most important information presently obtainable about the evil forces that are trying to destroy your family’s lives. Make no mistake, this is the truth and you need to give it your complete attention now. There is a war going on, the plutocracy’s nominees in governments all over the world are supporting, destroying and enslaving you. It is already late so you must take action now. You will learn the truth by Watching these videos: Thrive, Gasland, What in the World are They Spraying, America Freedom to Fascism and The Creature from Jekyll Island. Start today by watching, making copies and sharing this important information with everyone you know and ask them to do the same. Join and support occupy movements in your city or town. Become a non-violent protester but defend yourself from violence. Your individual support and presence is very important because just one person can make the difference for all of our freedoms. Download the torrent: "Truth and Reasons for Occupying America's Streets." Share with 100 of your friends and family and ask them to do the same. Make DVD copies and share them with everyone. We must all do this selfless act of sharing this very important information with people we do not know to get the word out or we will all suffer slavery and death.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

All taxes (fed,state,local): Min wage worker of 35% wages; Mitt Romney 14% of investment gain. FairShareTaxesOrg

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Adding together the taxes at every level of government (as Mr. Steward did in his examples) for a single person making minimum wage in 2010. (Note: She would not qualify for EIC or food stamps)

Fed income tax: $515 Payroll tax: $1109 State and city income tax (NY City): $420 Sales and gas taxes: $520 Share of real estate taxes, (70% is passed along if you rent): $1300 Total: $3864 This is 27% of her income (AGI); 75% of taxable income

Could add in these: Share of employer paid payroll tax (reduces your compensation): %1109 Share of Corporate taxes (increased prices, reduced wages): $420 Total $5393. This is 37% of AGI; 105% of taxable income

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Want a simple, fair, non-distorting tax reform plan recommended as "the best idea for US policy I have seen in my 73-year lifetime" ?

Briefly: Flat 20% tax on all income over a reasonable poverty line. Capital gains and estate taxes replaced with a 1-1.7% net worth tax. Corporate taxes ended and instead most profits distributed to shareholders and taxed as income.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Comments sent to the website http://fairsharetaxes.org ....

  • "Congratulations on this fantastic plan, beautifully conceived, and meticulously detailed."
  • "I applaud you on your website, which is the best idea for US policy I have seen in my 73-year lifetime."
  • "This should be the starting point of an overhaul of our draconian tax code."
  • "Thanks for putting up the site and all of the information you have collected. I wish Congress and President Obama would read it."
  • "Your essay is brilliant. Period."
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/intelligence-study-links-prejudice_n_1237796.html

The link above is a report of a study that links low IQ to prejudice, racism and conservatism.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

My question is: Why do these discussions always focus on federal income tax rates and at best give lip service to the other taxes we pay?

Federal income taxes only amount to 30% of the taxes we pay. The other 70% includes social security taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and gas taxes. They shift the tax burden onto the working poor and middle class. But almost no one takes a serious look at those numbers.

If you do the calculation with those other taxes, a single minimum wage earner can easily pay over 30% of her wages in taxes, even though she may next to nothing in federal income taxes. Here's a website that goes through the calculation of all the taxes we pay ... for the working-poor, the middle class, Warren Buffett, and Mitt Romney: http://fairsharetaxes.org It also has a great proposal for a really fair, really simple, economy saving tax system for the US.

Guess what?

Romney pays 14% of his investment gains and income, including corporate taxes A minimum-wage worker pays 34% of her wages.

Romney pays taxes 2% of his net worth (accumulated wealth). A minimum wage worker pays taxes often over 500% of her net worth.

Pete fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The tax rate paid by Mr. Romney's on his total investment gains is much lower than his stated "about 15%." That's because it does not count massive unrealized capital gains and gains in his huge IRA that grow year after year untaxed. If they were included in the calculation, his tax rate would closer to 5%. Plus most of his income is from investments, so he avoids the additional 7% Social Security taxes almost everyone else pays on top of their income taxes. Further, if you include state and local taxes, the system becomes even more regressive.

Here's an honest calculation that includes untaxed investment gains and taxes at every level of government ... Warren Buffett pays total taxes (federal, state, local and yes even corporate) of about 11% on his total investment gains each year. On the other hand, a typical 64 year old widow on a $16,000 pension pays over 30% of her incomes in total taxes when you add together her federal, state and local taxes (mostly sales and property taxes). Same with a single minimum wage worker earning $15,000 (mostly Social Security taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes).

Can't wait to see Romney's and calculate his actual total tax rate.

See http://fairsharetaxes.org for the facts and figures, more on the damaging effects of our corrupt tax system on our economy and the solution ... a net worth tax.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The tax rate paid by Mr. Romney's on his total investment gains is much lower than his stated "about 15%." That's because it does not count massive unrealized capital gains and gains in his huge IRA that grow year after year untaxed. If they were included in the calculation, his tax rate would closer to 5%. Plus, since this is almost all investment gain, he avoids the additional 7% Social Security taxes almost everyone else pays. Further, if you include state and local taxes, the system becomes even more regressive.

The average federal income tax rate on the top 400 incomes was 30% before Reagan. It's now 17% on an average income of $260,000,000 for those top 400. Is it any wonder that the top 1% own 40% of the nation's wealth, up from 22% when Reagan started cutting taxes on the investor class.

Here's an honest calculation that includes untaxed investment gains and taxes at every level of government ... Warren Buffett pays total taxes (federal, state, local and yes even corporate) of about 11% on his total investment gains each year. On the other hand, a typical 64 year old widow on a $16,000 pension pays over 30% of her incomes in total taxes when you add together her federal, state and local taxes (mostly sales and property taxes). Same with a single minimum wage worker earning $15,000 (mostly Social Security taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes).

Fair? Good for the economy? Not hardly. The idea behind the reduced tax rates for investments was to encourage investment and boost the economy. It certainly enriched investors the top 1% went form owning 22% to 40% of the nation's wealth. Corporations are sitting on more cash than ever in history. Instead of helping the economy as the GOP predicted, the average real GDP has dropped 25% comparing the 30 years before and after Reagan and unemployment stands at 8.5%. Where are the jobs? Nowhere to be found. It's because the vast middle class is impoverished by the the wealthy, bankers, and corporations. We've had multiple deep recessions from the inevitable stock and housing bubbles that are caused by this GOP effort to engineer the economy with favored tax rates for wealthy investors. Their tax cuts for the wealthy are the real failed stimulus and cost the Treasury 10 times the 2009 stimulus.

See http://fairsharetaxes.org for the facts and figures, more on the damaging effects of our corrupt tax system on our economy and the solution, a net worth tax.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The big question is: "Why are we plagued by repeated recessions?"

I am convinced the answers lie in structural problems with our system of taxes. It creates and imbalance between dollars devoted to consumption and dollars devoted to investment.

If you add together total taxes at every level of government, the working poor and middle class pay 30-40% of their wages in taxes (http://fairsharetaxes.org). They spend most of their after-tax dollars, so this suppresses consumption.

The very wealthy investor class, on the other hand, pays 10-25% of their investment gains and income in total taxes. Relatively low tax rates on investments, the wealth-concentration it promotes, and the fact that the wealthy invest rather than spend most of their gains combine to result in too many investment dollars chasing too few worthy investments (which are limited by suppressed consumption) .. investment bubbles .. recessions.

We only need to look at the current situation to see the above is true. The wealthy investor class has not held more of the nation's wealth, going back to just before the Great Depression! Corporations are sitting on more cash than ever in history. They are waiting for the vast middle class to start spending. It won't happen as long as the tax system continues to create an imbalance between dollars devoted to consumption and dollars devoted to investment.

The GOP tax breaks for the rich are the real failed stimulus & cost 10times Obama's.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

All talk about deficit reduction and tax reform misses the mark unless it addresses this shameful fact: In this country billionaire Warren Buffett pays 11% total (federal, state, local, corporate) taxes on $8 billion annual investment gains while a single minimum wage worker pays 30% total taxes on her $14,500 annual salary. Under December's tax deal, the average top 2% household got $74,000 while the average bottom 98% household got $5200 (and the national debt went up almost $1trillion dollars). See http://fairsharetaxes.org for details.

The top 1% in the US have gone from owning 22% to 40% of the nation's wealth in the last thirty years. This is largely due to the tax cuts for the wealthy investor class, started under Reagan. They were supposed to encourage investment and strengthen the economy but have done the opposite. Since then, the average annual GDP growth dropped by one-quarter, and we've had multiple recessions triggered by investment bubbles, caused (via the principles of supply-and-demand) by the favored tax rates for wealthy investors.

I propose that all federal, state, and local government services are funded with a reformed, simplified income tax and a new wealth tax (about 1% of net worths over $1million). Income and net worth are the two true measures of ability to pay and extent to which households have benefited from the economic infrastructure governments provide. Eliminate all other (sales, real estate, social security) taxes, which shift the total tax burden in this country from the rich to the poor and midddle class. See http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

The reform would reduce each middle class total tax bill by thousands, slash the deficit, and eliminate the market-distorting tax breaks for investing that are ruining our economy and impoverishing all but the top few percent. Critics see http://fairsharetaxes.org/Talkingpoints.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Warren Buffet: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by notpp (3) from 千代田区, 東京都 2 years ago

Important! Japanese people made a online petition on WH.gov to stop 1%-led TPPA. http://wh.gov/jfo Please join and spread!

White House MUST give us a response if we collect 25,000 signs. Of course, this will not directly change the government, but I hope Mr. Obama would remember what he said at his presidential campaign.

At Presidential campaign, Mr. Obama said NAFTA is "devastating because our trade agreements did not have labor standards and environmental standards that would assure that workers in US are getting squared in". After NAFTA, as he said, US people lost jobs since many manufacturers moved to Mexico where the wage is lower than that of US and Canada. Mr. Obama is now going to make another ingernational trade agreemtn called TPPA.

TPPA: This trade pact put the interests of corporations above the interests of the citizens of signatory nations. http://wh.gov/jfo #OWS

Disadvantages of NAFTA http://useconomy.about.com/od/tradepolicy/p/NAFTA_Problems.htm

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes Kirk, just like conservative segregationists in the south "celebrated" their grand tradition of separate lunch counters, schools, opportunities for blacks and whites ... they all claimed to be supporting those aspects of (their privileged) lives they though worth keeping. Some felt so strongly they were willing to kill (ie lynch) for their conservative ideals.

Just like to today conservatives want to "celebrate" their form of capitalism in which the wealthy few pay total taxes at rates about one-third of what the working poor and middle class pay. Just as surely as in the segregationist south, people are suffering and dieing from this social injustice. Today's conservatives, just like all their predecessors will wind up defeated and on the wrong side of history.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

A World Bank economist, Branko Milanovic, has written: “Widespread education has become the secret to growth. And broadly accessible education is difficult to achieve unless a society has a relatively even income distribution.”

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Warren Buffett, billionaire, pays a total tax rate (federal, state & local; personal & corporate) of 11% of his income and investment gains. A single person earning a minimum wage pays taxes amounting to 37% of her wages, more than triple Mr. Buffett’s rate. The top 1% in the US have gone from owning 22% to 40% of the nation's wealth in the last thirty years. This is largely due to the tax cuts for the wealthy investor class, started under Reagan, continued under Bush. They were supposed to encourage investment and strengthen the economy. Since then, the average annual GDP growth dropped by one-quarter.

Why? The favored tax treatment for investments and the wealth concentration that resulted leads to the demand for investments exceeding the supply of worthy investments ... (Econ 101) ... Investment bubbles ... Recessions ... All but the wealthiest are at risk of losing their jobs, homes, retirement savings. For much more, including a proposal for comprehensive tax reform which would have everyone pay their fair share, cut middle-class taxes, reduce the deficit, improve the economy, and strengthen the nation as a force for good in the world, see http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago
  • Explanation of how regressive tax system damages the economy: Wealthy investors pay total tax rates on their investment gains that are about 3 to 5-fold less than middle-class families pay on their wages. Unrealized gains are completely untaxed, so investors have an incentive to continue substandard, unproductive investments in order to maintain this perpetual tax deferral. Both of these distortions of market forces and the resulting wealth concentration leads to too many investment dollars chasing too few worthy investments. New, often risky, investment types (eg derivatives, securitised mortgages) are invented to meet this demand. Nonetheless, supply exceeds demand and investment prices must climb beyond their "real" value, creating an investment bubble. These tax-distorted market forces overwhelm any attempts to regulate the financial markets. The investment bubble will inevitably burst, particularly as higher tax rates on the vast middle class suppressing consumption. The burst bubble in turn triggers or exacerbates a recession. Then all but the very wealthiest are at risk for losing their jobs, their homes, their kid's college funds, and their retirement savings. Tax revenues and so investment for future economic growth plummet. The size of the U.S. economy means the suffering caused by our mismanaged economy spreads worldwide, doubling back to damage our economy further.
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I would like to see real tax reform: Eliminate sales, real estate and social security taxes. They are largely regressive. Eliminate corporate taxes that are ultimately paid by labor as much as investors and cause all sorts of political corruption. Eliminate the estate tax. Fund all government (federal, state and local) based a reformed, simplified income tax and a new wealth tax (about 1% of net worths over $1million). Income and net worth are the two true measures of ability to pay and extent to which households have benefited from the economic infrastructure governments provide. (Include a few excise taxes to discourage harmful behaviors, like smoking and pollution.) See full proposal at http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

Right now Warren Buffett, a billionaire, pays a total tax rate (combined federal, state, local including corporate corporate) of 11% of his income and investment gains. A typical single person earning a minimum wage pays taxes amounting to 37% of her wages, almost four times Mr. Buffett’s, rate. Further, this favored tax-treatment of wealthy investors led to our last two recessions. See http://fairsharetaxes.org for explanation and details.

The proposed system would fix all this. It would have everyone pay their fair share, cut middle-class taxes, reduce the deficit, improve the economy, and strengthen the nation as a force for good in the world. Critics see http://fairsharetaxes.org/Talkingpoints.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The main source of much of this country's inequality in wealth, income, and power is our system of taxes, that is all federal, state and local taxes considered as a whole. Consider:

A minimum wage full time worker aged 20 A widow living on Social Security aged 75

Both have an annual income of about $14,500

They are among the 50% that the Republicans are forever claiming "pay no taxes." But the actual true statement is that they "pay no federal income taxes."

Both pay over $5000 in other taxes, like Social Security, sales, gas and real estate taxes - over 30% of their meager incomes, and no .. they do not qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Food Stamps. They have to live on under $10,000 after taxes. On the other hand Warren Buffett pays only 11% of his 8 billion dollar investment gain .. yes, including his share of indirect corporate taxes .. leaving him $7,200,000,000 in investment gains in a recent year.

The other taxes people like the minimum wage worker and Social Security benficiary pay are conveniently ignored by the top few percent and their pets in Washington when they claim millionaires can not pay a penny more in taxes as long as so many "pay nothing."

See the details and the solution: http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"As I've often said ... this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing."

  • Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailments of all republics." - Plutarch, Greek historian, c.100 A.D.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"There’s class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” "But I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we've ever had it." "The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on."

  • Warren Buffett, World's third richest man
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

  • Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations," 1776, Considered the father of economics and one of the first advocates of capitalism
[-] 1 points by abusalman (47) 2 years ago

We have been calling out this web of fraudulent debt, money as debt on interest to be paid to cartel of banksters, for a long time. and so many proofs for instance Another proof of Wall Street destroying Main Street , for obscene profits while destroying the real world The Dumbest Idea In The World Maximizing Shareholder Value http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/11/28/maximizing-shareholder-value-the-dumbest-idea-in-the-world/ key quotes The “real market,” ... world in which factories are built, products are designed and produced, real products and services are bought and sold, revenues are earned, expenses are paid, and real dollars of profit show up on the bottom line. ... The expectations market is the world in which shares in companies are traded between investors—in other words, the stock market.... Our theories of shareholder value maximization and stock-based compensation have the ability to destroy our economy and rot out the core of American capitalism. .... until we change the theories, future crashes are inevitable.” “A pervasive emphasis on the expectations market...has ....introduced parasitic market players..... Bottom-line: capitalism is at risk American capitalism hangs in the balance, writes Martin. His book gives a clear explanations as to why this is so and what should be done to save it.... A large number of rent-collectors and financial middlemen making vast amounts of money are keeping the current system in place. The fact that what they are doing is destroying the economy will not sway their thinking. As Upton Sinclair noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

also see: Sovereign bond crisis in US & Euro the beginning of total collapse See http://terrorismbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com/sovereign-bond-crisis-in-us-euro-the-beginning-of-total-collapse/ Key quote For Pento, however, sovereign default is a matter of mathematics. “History is replete with examples that indicate once a nation reaches a debt to GDP ratio of between 90-100 percent, two pernicious conditions begin to appear,” he said. First, public debt drains capital from the private sector, which stymies economic growth. Second, the bond market no longer believes the country can repay its debt (partly because of the slowed economic growth). The market then charges the country higher borrowing rates, which leads it down a spiral of debt unsustainability. At the end of the 2010, the debt to GDP ratio was 94 percent for the U.S., 220 percent for Japan, and 119 percent for Italy, according to the IMF. Pento said eventually, these countries will either have to outright default or print their way out of their debt. Both scenarios, he said, will be deleterious to the economy.

Hedge Hogs; Gold Man’s Sacks; “financial terrorist attacks;” and the Obama sellout: http://abusalmandeyauddeeneberle.wordpress.com/hedge-hogs-gold-man%E2%80%99s-sacks-%E2%80%9Cfinancial-terrorist-attacks%E2%80%9D-and-the-obama-sellout/ SUPER COMMITTEE BIG BANK ROBBERY and “this sucker” going down http://abusalmandeyauddeeneberle.wordpress.com/super-committee-big-bank-robbery-and-this-sucker-going-down/ Terrorism by Economic Collapse, debt bondage, money as debt on interest, etc http://terrorismbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com/terrorism-topics/terrorism-by-economic-collapse/ Derivatives ‘Mother of All Bubbles’ exploding

http://inlightofrecentevents.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/derivatives-%E2%80%98mother-of-all-bubbles%E2%80%99-exploding/ Super rich 1% vs 99 %; Terrorism Cycle: Guillotines: Occupy “ALL” streets http://inlightofrecentevents.wordpress.com/derivatives-%E2%80%98mother-of-all-bubbles%E2%80%99-exploding/

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

It helps if you have a money machine who can't explain if the currency it dispenses to Europe is a loan.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

500 posts! Thanks for all you comments.

The revolution continues worldwide.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I am saying that wealthy investors should play on an even playing field with workers. The top 400 income earners in the US paid an average federal tax of 17%. The average worker pays that in social security alone (all economists agree that the employer portion falls on labor in reduced wages almost 100%). Buffett pays 11% of his investment return in all taxes. A typical middle-class family pays 39% of wages in all taxes.

If you think that is fine, you are saying you don't believe in capitalism - that you have to distort market forces by giving wealthy investors a tax advantage. Or else what? - The top 1% of household might slip to having less than 40% of the nation's wealth? We'd stop having investment bubbles (read Econ 101 supply and demand) that triggers our recessions - in which all but the top few percent are at rich for losing their jobs, homes, retirement accounts

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

A widow living off social security (about $13,000per year) can easily pay $4000 in other taxes (property, sales, gas) and yet she is among those disparaged by the GOP as paying no federal income tax. I think 10,000 after-tax dollars for a year is hardly enough to survive, yet the GOP apparently feels that no millionaire can pay a penny more until this widow pays more taxes.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I take solace in the fact that in the end the Conservatives are always proved wrong and fail as progressive reforms are put in place.

The following were conservative causes, now on the trash heap of history: feudalism; the monarchy; slavery; no vote or rights for women; imperialism; child labor; segregation

Conservative causes not yet completely discredited and extinguished: discrimination against homosexuals; denial of healthcare for all; economic repression of the working poor and middle class. They will lose all these battles as well.

The problem is: that when Conservatives dig in their heels to try to preserve their privileges, the spread of freedom is delayed unnecessarily causing the pointless suffering (and often the deaths) of millions.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by weepngwillo2 (277) 2 years ago

I agree that tax reform is necessary, mainly because the current system was set up by the one percent to benefit the one percent. As with the other goals of the mevement, this type of reform is inevitable once our political system is once again inhabited by the people instead of the "political class".

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks- Take a look at the website. My position and proposals were built with the input of dozens and alot of reading. I'm open to more suggestions-use the contact me page at the site. If you think friends, the public at large, or politicians would be interested in what we've come up with, spread the word. Here's some ideas: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx

[-] 1 points by madehero2000 (50) 2 years ago

Perhaps you should go to the IRS website and read a tax report. You can also download the more than 70,000 page document (the United States' Tax Code) and read it. Those rules apply to all citizens of this nation, and it is far from reducing the held wealth of the bottom 50%. The United States' Tax Code actually redistributes wealth from the top earners to the bottom earners.

To put this into perspective for you, the top 1% receive approximately 20% of the total collected income, but they pay more than 40% of the total federal income tax. The bottom 47% pay no federal income tax and the bottom 50% actually has a negative federal income tax (meaning that their return is greater than what was withheld from their paychecks).

How can you possibly claim that a tax system is design to keep the bottom 50% from increasing their held wealth when it directly takes wealth from the top earners and gives it to the bottom 50%? You may not have realized this, but reality directly contradicts your claim.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

See you make my point. You are either innocently of disingenuously looking at the Federal income tax only. They are only 30% of the taxes collected in this country. Add in Social Security, sales taxes, property taxes, gas taxes and a single minimum wage worker (or a widow living off of social security) pay 30-40% of their $15,000 annual income in total taxes, even though they may not pay any federal income tax (although most single full-time min-wage workers pay a few hundred dollars federal income tax). And no they don't qualify for foodstamps or the EIC. Meanwhile Warren Buffett pays 11% on his 8billion dollar investment gain for a year (yes including corporate taxes)

But all this is in my original post. PErhaps you should read it carefully before suggesting I do any thing.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No response "madehero." Are you conceding my point?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

An argument against the EU .... Seems a little off topic.

[-] 1 points by Neal2011 (4) 2 years ago

The anger and frustration that 99% of us feel is apparently directed at many...i.e. Wall Street, the banks, taxes, lack of medical care, lack of jobs, more need for the hungry and homeless, right to choose, immigration and twenty other things. The mess we are in is NOT the fault of the republicans nor just the democrats. And frankly if you try to blame one party over the other including the Tea Party well frankly have lost all credibility in your argument. I could go on and on. But I want to place the blame squarely where is belongs. I believe the ONE common denominator that WE the 99% can "blame" besides ourselves it's 535 incompetents in Washington DC. They are the problem! I don't blame the banks etc as much as I do the congressional regulators. Who allows the banks to get away with the corruption and fraud? Who oversees the spending and regulations of all these problems? CONGRESS DAMN IT! Here is an undisputed fact As long as your elected Congress can take money from corporations and special interests your elected official is CORRUPT period! You and I would loose our jobs if we did what Congress has allow themselves to do. They do not hear you OCCUPY...WHY? because we the people are too busy looking out for our particular interest. Don't you find it just a bit curious that beyond a local Mayor taking interest you hear little from Congress? Your frustrations are real...your concerns are real...your fear is real. So you must vote them out of office. They'll hear that. Republicans, Democrats...ALL OF THEM. OCCUPY ARE YOU LISTENING. If you think for one damn second "well my congress person is a good one" BS your a fool. I say take the entire Occupy Movement move it to Washington DC and demand for ALL our elected officials to fix the mess they have put us in NOW. People hear me...we are running out of time. For the sake for your children and grandchildren. I say with a loud and clear voice "THROW THE BUMS OUT!" Unfortunately Congress is incompetent, corrupt and unwilling to do the will of the people.

[-] 1 points by chuck1al (1074) from Flomaton, AL 2 years ago

Neal2011....Its throw the Tea Party Republicans out....And don't start that bullshit its both political parties fault. All is needed is to Look at Ronald Reagan and Bush 1 and Bush 2...to see where the blame is.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I agree Chuck. Simulations I've done show that the increase in the share of the nation's wealth among the top 2% - from 28 to 55% over the past 30 years - can almost all be accounted for by the special tax rates for investment gains (less than half that paid on wages) that The GOP pushed thru in 1997, 2001, 2003. My tax proposal does away with all those:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by chuck1al (1074) from Flomaton, AL 2 years ago

These are figures from 1998.................................. ............The Growing Gap in the United States Between the Rich and the Rest.................................................Edward Wolff is a professor of economics at New York University. He is the author of Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It, as well as many other books and articles on economic and tax policy. He is managing editor of the Review of Income and Wealth............................................... How do economists measure levels of equality and inequality? Wolff: The most common measure used, and the most understandable is: what share of total wealth is owned by the richest households, typically the top 1 percent. In the United States, in the last survey year, 1998, the richest 1 percent of households owned 38 percent of all wealth. This is the most easily understood measure. There is also another measure called the Gini coefficient. It measures the concentration of wealth at different percentile levels, and does an overall computation. It is an index that goes from zero to one, one being the most unequal. Wealth inequality in the United States has a Gini coefficient of .82, which is pretty close to the maximum level of inequality you can have.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I've read Wolff and even corresponded with him. I agree with almost all his work and it's part of the reason I include a net-worth tax in my Fair Share Tax Plan Proposal:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by chuck1al (1074) from Flomaton, AL 2 years ago

I can and do disagree with that, your premise that we (99%) have something to do with the inequality is foolish.. The Republican Party is responsible for the income inequality, by Republican administrations tax policy, the history is there to see...... Corporate lobbyists that make loop holes in the Tax code and slowly remove any paying of taxes by the rich......This information is a key stroke or two away, I don't understand how you can try and con the masses with your bullshit.it.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Can't disagree with any of that. Campaign finance reform, lobbying reform, revolving door reform are probably all needed before we make any progress on things like taxes and spending. And as you say, this crowd will never do that. I just don't see how you break the lock these guys have on power.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by larocks (414) from Lexington, KY 2 years ago

here is a good one. i made 43k one year and my taxes for that year were 23k so let me get this right. if i work as a contractor and make less than 50k a year. i have to pay a book keeper every month. not to mention my own vehicle and all the other supplies i must buy to work yet a corporation pays less tax than that. can you say messed UP SYSTEM

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Please edit your post to make it more civil.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No doubt the current system is broken. My proposed system would have cut your total taxes substantially, to about $5000 if you had a family of three. An it includes all you taxes, as property and sales taxes are eliminated under my plan. That's the beauty of having the wealthy pay their fair share: You can cut taxes on the middle class and working poor and cut the deficit (eliminate it with reasonable spending cuts).

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

You need a better accountant.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Under my Fair Share the tax form and tax calculation are so easy, that a 12 year old could file a return. And it's so transparent, everyone could fill it out content in the knowledge that everyone else is paying their fair share.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by larocks (414) from Lexington, KY 2 years ago

y should i have to hire an accountant this system in america wasnt made for accountants. it was made for all peoples. u make laws that only a few can understand and u get bs that no one else can understand

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

you made 43,000 and paid over 50% in taxes? You're not in a 50% tax bracket. You filed wrong.

[-] 1 points by larocks (414) from Lexington, KY 2 years ago

my point but id have to hire an accountant to file all this then doesnt that make it unfair. i shouldnt have to hire an accountant to pay taxes. i should just pay an ammount. maybe if i just didnt work or make money then i wouldnt have to file. wait you still have to file.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

you said you made $ 43,000 and paid $23,000 in taxes. Again, you're not in a 50% tax bracket.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

He might be talking about total taxes, including Social Security, sales, and property taxes. These taxes do shift the tax burden to the poor and middle class and are conveniently ignored by the GOP when they claim (erroneously) that half of households pay "no taxes."

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

.. for example A widow living off social security (about $15,000per year) can easily pay $5000 in other taxes (property, sales, gas) and yet she is among those disparaged by the GOP as paying no federal income tax. I think 10,000 after-tax dollars for a year is hardly enough to survive, yet the GOP apparently feels that no millionaire can pay a penny more until this widow pays more taxes.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

Property taxes and mortgage interest are still a deduction from your gross income. So are medical expenses and donations. sales tax is a user tax. S.S is reportable to the IRS but not taxed as income. In NJ there is no tax on clothing, but here is a state income tax. Not all states have income taxes.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes, they are deducted from your gross income if you itemize, which reduces your federal taxes if you itemize. However they are not deducted from your taxes. All this is taken into account and the minimum wage worker still ends up paying 30-37% of her wages in total taxes (to all levels of government), depending on the assumptions you make.

Warren Buffet's taxes figured the same way ... 10-11% of his investment gains.

See the numbers at http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

Your taxes are deducted from you check. If you don't itemize you're a fool. One way to get around it is to claim the most dependents possible, that way you keep more of your own money up front.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

For many people they would pay more taxes if the itemize, so you are wrong on that count. As far as what is deducted from your check, that makes little difference. The important number is the bottom line what are the total income taxes you've paid (withholding plus any additional payment with your return OR withholding minus any refund) plus all those other taxes (Social Security, sales taxes, property taxes, gas taxes...

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

...) all those additional taxes are paid disproportionately by the working poor and middle class and they explain why a single full-time minimum wage worker pays over 30% of her $15,000 annual income in total taxes.

[-] 1 points by larocks (414) from Lexington, KY 2 years ago

my point. why should i have to pay that. im not hireing an accountant. if i could then id hire an accountant who would make the government owe me money. just like the 1% do. i hate this system and it will never get better less we get people out of office who know what the fuk to do.

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Republicans will call you a socialist. Great post!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Please take a look at my site. http://fairsharetaxes.org - especially the Fair Share tax proposal at http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

Let me know what you think.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I've been called worse.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The Congressional Budget Office reports that if Congress does nothing: No extention of the Bush tax cuts; Sequestration after no deal by the Supercomittee: The deficit will be reducced by 7 trillion over the next 10 years. That's 6 fold more than the Supercommittee was charged with and is failing to save.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

NT Times article today; The Census folks calculated the poverty and near-poverty rate (50% over the poverty level) using a more sophisticated analysis. About 30% of households meet are poor of near poor. Many of these are pushed into poverty by taxes.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

The DNC is also the party of the rich. That's why Pres. Obama is traveling round the country and giving speeches that cost $35,000 a plate. He's courting the wealthy. He is close friends with the Insurance and Media corporations (the rich). He even bailed-out the car maker GM.

The GOP and DNC are really no different. Some minor disagreements on policy, but they are both part of the same corporate-loving/ rich-loving agenda.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No doubt you are right. However, the question is who would you rather set policy ( there are no realistic choices besides these):

The Republicans who want cut the taxes on the rich further, cut regulations (remember the Gulf Oil Spill, the Housing Crisis, the Coal mine collape that killed many workers), who voted unanimously in the House to end Medicare

OR Obama and the Democrats who resisted all of this.

I'll take the Dems - who then can be pushed further left.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Republicans voted to end medicare

I don't recall that vote. Citation please. --- I don't like either the R or D party, but the problem with the D party is they LOVE to regulate things:

  • Take away my right to pay cash to my doctor (and force me to get insurance)
  • Take away my toilet & clothes & dishwasher & replace them with lowflow models that don't flush or clean properly
  • Hand-out $4000 to people who junk perfectly good cars (see the broken window fallacy)

  • Trying to pass a bill that will yank websites off the net if they have copyrighted vids, songs, or photos (that would affect virtually all of us)

  • Introduced a bill that would allow the President's DOJ to prosecute people who violate a site's terms of service (such as using a fake UserID)
  • Rammed through the TARP bailout bill (70% of democrats voted for it; 65% of republicans voted it down)
  • Rammed through the Corporate welfare bill of 2009
  • Renewed the Patriot Act (twice) and extended the power of the TSA to search cars on interstate highways

The Republicans ____.

But the Democrats ____ more. I literally fear the democrats and what they will do to me (or my neighbors) with their TSA, redistribution of money from Us to the corporations, and intrusive regulations. I don't like the Republicans but I don't fear them.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Please keep your language civil. You make so many comments that ignore reality. I'll just start with the first:

So if you get in a car accident. Do you expect to be treated or put out on the curb if your bank accounts show you can't pay? Oh you want to be treated? So you rack up $800,000 in hospital bills from 5 weeks in the ICU. Do you have the cash to pay that? No, then I and everyone else who has insurance ends up paying your bill.

That's your "right" not to get insurance. You get treatment and everyone else has to pay for you.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

The word "suck" offends you? Well that's a new one. I'll erase it. I see you also didn't answer my request for citation that the Repubs voted to end medicare. (Probably because you know that never happened.)

Neither did you address all my other points about how, in my view, Democrats are the worse choice in the political Duopoly.

car accident

I have car insurance. That covers it. As for other diseases I have catastrophic health insurance if the bills exceed 20,000. But everything below that I always pay cash because it's cheaper and easier. The Democrats took that option away, because they mandated you HAVE to buy comprehensive medical insurance. That's just wrong and violates the 9th and 10th amendments of the constitution.

As for people in general, there are only 8 million that are not covered by private insurance, Medicare, or SCHIP. For that ~2% of the population, no hospital is allowed to turn them away from service. It's illegal to do so. Therefore they would be cared for.

I think the solution is not a complete takeover of healthcare, but simply extend Medicare to cover that 2% who don't have private insurance or medicare or SCHIP. Leave everything else the way it is now.

IMHO

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"I have car insurance"

You are required to have car insurance by the government because you want to drive. You have to prove you can pay for any mishap. With privilege comes responsibility.

You want your life saved if you get cancer, step in front of bus? You should have to prove you can pay for it. With privilege comes responsibility.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

(1) Car insurance is NOT mandatory. Almost half of Americans don't have car insurance because (a) it's not required by their home state or (b) they don't drive. Car insurance is easily avoided simply by not driving, or living in a state that does not require it.

(2) The 10th amendment forbids Congress from mandating people buy car insurance. That is a power reserved to the People and the People's State legislatures.

(3) Likewise the 10th amendment forbids Congress from mandating people buy health insurance. That is a power reserved to the People and the People's State legislatures.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The Commerce Clause of course gives Congress the mandate for this Health Care Law. A conservative Appealate Judge (appointed by Reagan, I think) agrees. We'll see what the Supreme Court has to say.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

The Commerce Clause of course gives Congress the mandate for this Health Care Law

That clause gives Congress authority to regulate commerce "among the States". It does give them authority to regulate commerce among individuals and mandate these individuals buy products.

If it did, Congress would have virtually unlimited power to force us to buy Priuses or solar panels or any other product. There is a whole host of proofs 'unlimited power' for the central government was never intended by the original author (or adoptees) of the 1789 Constitution. That is why the tenth amendment exists... to make that clear.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

60 million don't have insurance coverage and the growth in healt-care costs is unsustainable. We spend twice the amount per patient of other developed nations and have worse outcomes. The government needs to step in to create efficiencies and change incentives so that the health of the people and not huge profits drive the delivery of health care. I know all about this. I am a physician.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

60 million don't have insurance coverage and the growth in healt-care costs is unsustainable.

"60 million" is a democrat talking point and wildly inaccurate.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of uninsured is only 37 million U.S. citizens. Subtract the people who don't have insurance, but are covered by Medicare or SCHIP (people over 65 and kids under 18), and that number drops to 8 million.

Therefore I think the solution is simply extend Medicare to cover that 2% who don't currently have private insurance or medicare or SCHIP. Leave everything else the same.

IMHO

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I posted this earlier- but it somehow diasappeared.

The Ryan budget plan was approved by every House Republican mid-July, 2011. Under the plan every senior would get a voucher to buy medical insurance for private companies. Can't get coverage or afford the premium above what the government gives you? Tough luck. Die.

That's not Medicare anymore. It's a great big present to private insurance corporations - who typically have administrative and profit margins of 10-20% of premiums. Medicare takes no profit and has administrative costs of 2%.

Where did you get 2% don't have insurance coverage? The number at any given time is actually about 16%. In a recent 2 year period 29% of non-senior adults went without insurance for part of the time.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

I just spent some time googling Cantor's budget, and I can not find any reference that it dropped Medicare funding to zero (thus ending it).

Please provide a link.

Even somone as libertarian as Rep. Ron Paul has sworn (and released a budget) to provide Medicare to senior citizens. "We made a promise and must honor that promise."

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You saw what I described and it's accurate. Look up the citation yourself.

What every House Republican voted for is nothing like Medicare.

Now I can show you an car, have you pay for it, then deliver a tricycle and say it's still an car - it will get you around town. But that does no make the tricycle a car.

We're coming ... http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Look up the citation yourself.

I DID search but found nothing to support your claim that Cantor's budget ends medicare (or drops its funding to zero). I suspect you are stating false facts and/or unable to back them up.

Pete02's false claim rejected.

An uncited claim has as little value as a law nullified by the Supreme Court. "It is as if it never existed."

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

For heaven's sake, here it is: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/paul-ryans-budget-proposal-passes-house-democrats-medicare/story?id=13384520

Again it substituted a completely inadequate plan (vouchers, private insurers) that would have meant millions of seniors going without health care and tried to sell it by calling it Medicare.

Yes Medicare needs reform to contain costs better and the healthcare law does multiple things to start moving in that direction. Did you know Medicare pay services at ranging 50-80% of what private insurers pay. I'm a doc, so I know what I'm talking about.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

That link does NOT support your original claims.

in mid-July, 2011

That link says April.

The Cantor budget plan

That link says the Ryan plan.

"Tough luck. Die."

And that is just insultingnonsense. Nobody's going to die, because it is ILLEGAL for hospitals to turn-away sick persons. And of course medicare did not end. - Your comment is as bad as the tirade from Chris Matthews where he claims "Republicans want people to die or fry": http://youtu.be/QvdOklI2y9w

I'm a doc

Which means you have NO BACKGROUND in understanding economics. You may have taken a freshman economics class ~30 years ago but you've long forgotten it.

Medicare (read: free cash) has royally skewed economics. It encourages corporations and HMOs to pad the bill, because they know the government will just hand-over the money. Medicare has created a bubble in the same fashion that Fannie and Freddie creating a housing bubble (via cheap and easily-available cash).

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You state because I'm a doctor I have NO BACKGROUND in understanding economics. I don't follow how you can reach that conclusion. Shows sloppy thinking.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Not really. You also have no background in how to layout a computer circuit board. Or how to design a piece of electronics. Or how to program computer software. Your expertise is in medicine, not those 3 things. And not the economy.

Your "doctoral" opinion that a government-run centralized economy (like the USSR had) is superior to a free market has as little weight as if you had told me, I should write my next program with Assembly instead of C++. Or that I need to make my next computer card an ISA bus instead of PCI. Your opinion has zero weight when it comes to economics.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No. You are wrong there. You are unable to dispute my argument, so you stoop to attacking me. Just because I'm an M.D. does not mean I'd don't understand basic economics and I know the difference between right and wrong. Taxing the working poor at rates 3-fold higher than billionaires pay is wrong and it damages the economy.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You write: "Nobody's going to die, because it is ILLEGAL for hospitals to turn-away sick persons." This shows the Right Fringe's simplistic self-serving, uncompassionate view.

People who can't afford insurance put off getting things looked at (e.g. breast lumps, bloody cough) and don't get preventative care that would detect high blood pressure etc. etc. The Ryan plan would mean many seniors don't get insurance. The result is untreatable cancer, strokes, heart attacks ... death.

Right now the lack of insurance for the younger, healthier roughly 20% of non-seniors results in 20,000 to 30,000 preventable deaths every year. (not to mention lost limbs, lost lungs, paralysis, renal failure - all very expensive to treat). This is the result found by multiple peer-reviewed studies. The Health Care Bill will save all those people.

Put of course the Right Fringe don't care about those deaths as long as the get what they erroneously perceive as their "right" to forgo paying into the system that they expect use when they are sick or have an accident.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Please stop exaggerating. There are only 8 million U.S. citizens who are not covered by (a) insurance or (b) government medicare/Schip. (Source: U.S. Census and Blue Shield and CBO.)

As for preventative medicine, what makes you think government would provide it? I know of one UK case where a college-aged woman asked for a PAP smear to prevent cervical cancer. Both her grandma and mom had died from the cancer, so she wanted to preempt it.

The UK Government turned her down at age 22.

The UK Government turned her down again at age 23

And again at age 24.

Then at age 25 she developed the cancer, and eventually died at age 28. You seem to think that turning-over healthcare to government will somehow magically cure all the flaws in our current system? You are mistaken. That's not how it works.

On the contrary the U.S. government (under Pelosicare) has already setup boards to ration the amount of money spent on preventative medicine, especially for those over 80.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

What's Pelosicare? I can't find any legislation under that name.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You are creating a straw man. The Health Care act is not "health care being turned over to the government" as you put it.

There is alot of emphasis on preventative care. Please note this is one of the things you object to. It's been shown that people with catastophic policies (which you have now and object to having extended to more comprehensive care) get much less preventative care.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Sorry - I can find dozens of reprots like this form reputable news sources - CNN, CBS, Time magazine:

Census Bureau: Number of U.S. Uninsured Rises to 47 Million Americans are Uninsured: Almost 5 Percent Increase Since 2005

Teddi Dineley Johnson

Posted: 01/08/2008; Nations Health. 2007;37(8) © 2007 American Public Health Association

Print This Print This

Content

For the sixth consecutive year, the number of Americans living without health insurance has risen, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. Approximately 2.2 million people were added to the uninsurance rolls in 2006 — the largest one-year increase in the number of uninsured Americans since 2002.

Annual Census Bureau estimates released in August show 47 million people, or 15.8 percent of the U.S. population, were without health insurance during 2006 — a 4.9 percent increase. In 2005, census figures showed that 44.8 million people, or about 15.3 percent of the population, lacked health insurance coverage.

The number of uninsured Americans has increased 22 percent since 2000, at which time 38.4 million people lacked health insurance.

Fewer Americans had employer-based coverage in 2006, the new data show. The percentage of people covered by employer plans fell from 60.2 percent in 2005 to 59.7 percent in 2006, according to the report, "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States."

Also of note, more children were without health insurance in 2006, the census data showed. The percentage of uninsured children younger than 18 rose from 10.9 percent in 2005 to 11.7 percent in 2006. According to the data, children ages 12–17 were more likely to be uninsured than children younger than age 12.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

He who controls the money, controls the recipients of the money. The government would control the hospitals in the same fashion as they forced the States to raise the alcohol limit from 18 to 21 (or else the states would receive no highway funds).

As for the claims of 47 million..... it's ridiculous. The Census Bureau collects its information via FLAWED analysis. They use freakin' postcards! So they are only measuring approximately ~10,000 people (0.01% of the populace), and only those that return their cards. Plus they don't adjust for sampling error. It's a meaningless poll.

But even if we assume the Census number was accurate, it fails to take into account that many of those "uninsured" persons are not without health care. They have coverage through Medicare and SCHIP. It also fails to subtract the 12 million persons who are not citizens (and therefore would not be covered by Obamacare anyway).

Once you subtract those who are already-covered by existing government programs, the number drops to 8 million U.S. citizens without private or government healthcare.

8 million.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

It's a great big present to private insurance corporations

So is the Obama/Pelosi/Harry Reid plan whose "present" forces citizens to buy insurance. It gives those corporations another ~37 million new customers (or else punishes the citizens with fines). Dems serve megacorps just as much as Repubs do.

As for a government takeover, I don't want my healthcare run into the ground like Amtrak and the USPS were run into the ground (both are borderline bankrupt). And our government-run schools put our students in ~30th place behind other nations. Even the government military is poorly run, with an estimated 160 billion sent to Iraq to build hospitals/schools that were never built.

The US government does a LOUSY job running things.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I don't know people like Medicare and there's much more government involvement in that than the new health care policy.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I and many Dems would have preferred single-payer. They kept private insurance because its what the GOP (from Nixon to Gingrich to Romney) preferred.

But the extra insured are not a present - Insurers will now have to take everyone of a given age at the same premium regardless of pre-existing conditions. And they have to spend 90% could be 85% (I don't remember exactly) on medical care. Which caps admin and profits at 10%.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I and many Democrats would have preferred a single-payer system. They made it private-insurance based, because for years that's what Republicans wanted (from Nixon to Gingrich to Romney). But it's not a present to private insurers. They have to insure everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions and have to spend 85% (or maybe 90% I can't remember) of premiums on care (leaving 15% for admin, profits).

And no the government won't be running health insurance. Seniors seem happy with Medicare (It has more government-involvement than the new health plan for nonseniors) - which the GOP voted to eliminate.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

single-payer system

Yeah because "single payer" has worked just GREAT with our Amtrak, post office, and schools. We have the best trains, mail, and schools in the world! Oh wait. No we don't. The first two are nearing bankruptcy and the last produces students that rank ~30th in the world (i.e. they are dumb).

As for Medicare: It has royally screwed the medical system. It encourages corporations and HMOs to add extra expenses to the bill, because they know the government will just hand-over the money. Medicare has created a bubble in the same fashion that Fannie and Freddie creating a housing bubble (via cheap and easily-available cash).

which the GOP voted to eliminate.

I already did my search and found NOTHING about this supposed vote. False/ uncited claim rejected.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I applaud you on your website, which is the best idea for US policy I have seen in my 73-year lifetime.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I'm very sorry the park was cleared, but it will bring out more supporters. Expanding the protests across the city is exactly the right tactic now.

Let's keep the faith. Keep protesting. Keep it nonviolent. Keep it legal to give the mayor and police no excuse to silence us. Let's be a great big thorn in the side of the smug 1% and their pets in government until we turn the nation back toward the path of economic justice.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Explanation of how regressive tax system damages the economy: Wealthy investors pay total tax rates on their investment gains that are about 3 to 5-fold less than middle-class families pay on their wages. Unrealized gains are completely untaxed, so investors have an incentive to maintain substandard, unproductive investments to maintain this perpetual tax deferral. Both these distortions of market forces and the resulting wealth concentration leads to too many investment dollars chasing too few worthy investments. New, often risky, investment types are invented to meet this demand. Nonetheless, supply exceeds demand, investment prices climb beyond their "real" value, creating an investment bubble. These tax-distorted market forces overwhelm any attempts to regulate the financial markets. The investment bubble will inevitably burst (particularly with higher tax rates on the vast middle class suppressing consumption). The burst bubble in turn triggers or exacerbates a recession. Then all but the very wealthiest are at risk for losing their jobs, their homes, their kid's college funds, and their retirement savings. Tax revenues and so investment for future economic growth plummet. The size of the U.S. economy means the suffering caused by our mismanaged economy spreads worldwide, doubling back to damage our economy further.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

WHAT IF EVERYONE PAID THEIR FAIR SHARE?
This proposed tax plan would cut the total taxes (federal, state, local, indirect) paid by a middle-class family earning $73,000 from $28,000 to $16,000 (rate decrease from 39% to 23%) and have the very wealthy pay their fair share. With some sensible spending cuts it would balance all government budgets by 2015 and eliminate our national debt over 30 years. It would shift incentives to make the economy flourish. It would take you only one hour each year to deal with all your taxes, content in the knowledge that you and everyone is contributing their fair share to our nation's future.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The argument that "because the very wealthy pay most of federal income taxes means they are paying enough" is simply not a valid argument. Under that logic (in a 20-person economy), it would be fair to charge each of the 19 bank tellers a 100% tax on their $15,000 yearly salaries and charge the bank president a 4% tax on his $10,000,000 salary ... because, after all, the top 5% (the bank president) would be paying about 60% of all taxes.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"As I've often said ... this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing."

  • Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

IMAGINE A COUNTRY:

Where the tax system no longer has much lower tax rates to wealthy investors and hedge-fund managers, compared to coal miners, nurses, and all other wage earners.

Where being responsible and hard-working is rewarded, and being irresponsible and lazy is not.

Where the richest 2% no longer hold 55% of the nation's wealth.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"... but what people really want is fairness. They want people paying their fair share of taxes." "All I'm saying is that those who have done well, including me, should pay their fair share in taxes"

  • Barack Obama, 2007, 2011
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailments of all republics."

  • Plutarch, Greek historian, c.100 A.D.
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"So-called supply-side economists don’t like raising taxes on anyone and argue that raising them on the well-off will slow economic growth. They say people at the top will have less incentive to work hard, invest and invent. History has proven them wrong. During 1951 to 1980, when America’s top marginal tax rate was between 70 percent and 92 percent, the nation’s average annual growth was 3.7 percent. But between 1983 and start of the Great Recession, when the top rate was far lower — ranging between 35 percent and 39 percent — the economy grew an average of just 3 percent per year. Supply-siders are fond of claiming Ronald Reagan’s 1981 cuts caused the 1980s economic boom. In fact, that boom followed Reagan’s 1982 tax increase. The 1990s boom was not the result of a tax cut. It came after Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.

  • Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Clinton, 2010
[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The ugly truth. America's wealth is STILL being concentrated. When the rich get too rich, the poor get poorer. These latest figures prove it. AGAIN.

According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of U.S. workers made less than $26,364 in 2010. In addition, those making less than $200,000, or 99 percent of Americans, saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively. The sobering numbers were a far cry from what was going on for the richest one percent of Americans.

The incomes of the top one percent of the wage scale in the U.S. rose in 2010; and their collective wage earnings jumped by $120 billion. In addition, those earning at least $1 million a year in wages, which is roughly 93,000 Americans, reported payroll income jumped 22 percent from 2009. Overall, the economy has shed 5.2 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

Another word about the first Great Depression. It really was a perfect storm. Caused almost entirely by greed. First, there was unprecedented economic growth. There was a massive building spree. There was a growing sense of optimism and materialism. There was a growing obsession for celebrities. The American people became spoiled, foolish, naive, brainwashed, and love-sick. They were bombarded with ads for one product or service after another. Encouraged to spend all of their money as if it were going out of style. Obscene profits were hoarded at the top. In 1928, the rich were already way ahead. Still, they were given huge tax breaks. All of this represented a MASSIVE transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Executives, entrepreneurs, developers, celebrities, and share holders. By 1929, America's wealthiest 1 percent had accumulated over 44% of all United States wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes were left to share the rest. When the majority finally ran low on money to spend, profits declined and the stock market crashed.

Of course, the rich threw a fit and started cutting jobs. They would stop at nothing to maintain their disgusting profit margins and ill-gotten obscene levels of wealth as long as possible. The small business owners did what they felt necessary to survive. They cut more jobs. The losses were felt primarily by the little guy. This created a domino effect. The middle class shrunk drastically and the lower class expanded. With less wealth in reserve and active circulation, banks failed by the hundreds. More jobs were cut. Unemployment reached 25% in 1933. The worst year of the Great Depression. Those who were employed had to settle for much lower wages. Millions went cold and hungry. The recovery involved a massive infusion of new currency, a World War, and higher taxes on the rich. With so many men in the service, so many women on the production line, and those higher taxes to help pay for it, some United States wealth was gradually transfered back to the lower majority. This redistribution of wealth continued until the mid seventies. By 1976, the top 1% held under 20%. This was the recovery. A partial redistribution of wealth.   Then it began to concentrate all over again. Here we are 35 years later. The richest one percent now own over 40 percent of all US wealth. The lower 99 percent are sharing the rest. This is true even after taxes, welfare, financial aid, and charity. It is the underlying cause.   No redistribution. No recovery.

The government won't step in and do what's necessary. Not this time. It's up to us. Support small business more and big business less. Support the little guy more and the big guy less. It's tricky but not impossible. No redistribution. No recovery.

Those of you who agree on these major issues are welcome to summarize this post, copy it, link to it, save it, show a friend, or spread the word in any fashion. Most major cities have daily call-in talk radio shows. You can reach thousands of people at once. They should know the ugly truth. Be sure to quote the figures which prove that America's wealth is still being concentrated. I don't care who takes the credit. We are up against a tiny but very powerful minority who have more influence on the masses than any other group in history. They have the means to reach millions at once with outrageous political and commercial propaganda. Those of us who speak the ugly truth must work incredibly hard just to be heard.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks for a great post. I agree. What I don't think you say explicitly is that almost every condition that started the Great Depression is operating today. Greed at the top, one tax cut after another for the wealthy, stock market bubbles (fueled by those tax cuts), the top 1% getting hold of 40% of the nation's wealth. It's happened twice in our history ... before the Great Depression and before our current Great Recession. No, it's not a coincidence.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You're right. Same circumstances. Almost identical.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

My tax reform plan would be one step in the right direction toward the fairer distribution of wealth you proecribe: Take a look at the plan: http://fairsharetaxes.org. If you think it should get wider consideration, please do one or two of the things I suggest of this page: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I'll check it out.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

What did you think? My proposal has been modified for the better thanks to the comments of about 20 frequent vistors to the site. Have anything to add?

[-] 1 points by littrellb (199) from Hillsboro, OR 2 years ago

Please check this article out it is shocking how GE and other Fortune 500 companies manage to make billions and still receive a tax credit.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/corporate-tax-corruption/

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes under our current system, it's grossly unfair.

However, you may be surprised to hear that I favor doing away with corporate taxes and instead directly taxing the owners of those corporations on the corporation's profits.

Here's the reason: Corporations only write the check-all their taxes are passed in the end to people. Right now those owners pay only about half of corporate taxes. The other half is ultimately paid by workers in reduced wages and consumers in increased prices. So you see corporate taxes are a stealth tax on you me and everyone. Every economist that's written on this agrees.

See the plan in detail: http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by skinny (44) 2 years ago

Carson argues the centralization of wealth into a class hierarchy is due to state intervention to protect the ruling class, by using a money monopoly, granting patents and subsidies to corporations, imposing discriminatory taxation, and intervening militarily to gain access to international markets. He believes the term “laissez-faire capitalism” is an oxymoron because “actually existing capitalism.”, he argues, is the “organization of society, incorporating elements of tax, usury, landlordism, and tariff, which thus denies the Free Market while pretending to exemplify it”.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

All true. What's this Carson's full name. Has he got a book? Does he have a solution?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The rich and famous do not want to be seen as 'pigs' or go down in history as 'villains'. They want to be seen as 'heros' and go down in history as 'humanitarians'. The market for their product has become global. The fan base has become global. Therefore, the 'humanitarian' effort and 'good will' PR machine has gone global.  These 'humanitarian' efforts and 'good deeds' are not chosen to address the greatest need or injustice. They are chosen almost exclusively to appeal to the largest demographic for their respective commercial products. The largest fan base.  Efficiency or effect is of little or no concern. Its all about PR, marketing, image, and fame.

This is why the rich and famous have all taken up 'philanthropy' or 'good will' around the world. This is why so many have 'schools' or 'foundations' in their name. This is why so many play golf or appear on a TV game show for 'charity'. This is why so many sign motorcycles, other merchandise, or auction off their own 'personal effects' for 'charity'. This is why so many have TV shows with a 'charitable' gimmick. This is why so many arrange photo ops with wounded veterans, firefighters, or sick children. This is why so many have adopted children from around the world (Which they always pay others to care for full time. The hired professionals are sworn by legal contract to confidentiality. Not allowed to discuss or appear in public with the children they care for. Those 'photo' and 'interview' opportunities are reserved exclusively for the rich and famous 'adoptive' parents.). This is why every 'humanitarian' effort and 'good deed' is plastered all over the media worldwide. Its not about 'humanity' or 'good will'. Its all about marketing, image, fame, and PROFIT. This is why we are so often reminded of their respective 'good deeds' or 'humanitarian' efforts shortly before or after the release of their latest commercial product. 

Charitywatch.org and Charitynavigator.org are both non-profit charity watchdogs. Of all the well rated charities (about 1500) only three are closely affiliated with celebrities. Michael J Fox (not the primary donor), Tiger Woods (not the primary donor), and Bill Clinton (not the primary donor). That's three well rated celebrity foundations out of 1500. In general, celebrity foundations run like crap because they blow half the money on private jet rides, five star accommodations, and PR crews.

The fans have been terribly misled. For example:

Virtually every penny 'donated' by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to date has come from repeated sales of baby photos. With each sale, the baby money goes to the 'Jolie-Pitt' foundation. A foundation which has never done anything but shelter funds. The 'donation' is immediately publicized worldwide.     

When Jolie or Pitt have a new movie to promote, a portion is then donated from their own 'foundation' to a legitimate charity. This leaves their ignorant fans under the impression that 'another' donation has been made. When in fact, its the same baby money being transferred again and again. Another portion is blown on private jet rides, super-exclusive accommodations, photo ops, and PR crap. This saves Jolie and Pitt millions in travel/stay expenses and their respective studios tens of millions in advertising. It's all very calculated. 

Of course, Jolie and Pitt could simply endorse any of the 1500 most efficient and effective charities. Of course, the baby money would go much further and do far more good if it were donated to such charities to begin with. 

But that would be too boring. 

The 'Make it Right' Foundation took in over $12,000,000 the first year alone. Tens of millions overall. Brad Pitt has never been the primary donor, planner, or designer. He is a figurehead and salesman with a position on the board of advisors. Nothing more. Still, he has been showered with glorious praise by fellow celebrities and media outlets around the world. Again, the fans have been terribly misled. 

In order to move into a 'green' home, the innocent victims of Katrina are required to provide a property deed, meet a number of financial requirements, and pay an average of $150,000 UP FRONT. The difference is offered in cheap loans or on occasion (according to the website) forgiven. To date, only a few dozen former home owners have qualified. 

The 'Make it Right' foundation was never intended to help the lower income residents of New Orleans reclaim anything lost in Katrina. In fact, 'Make it Right' is part of a calculated effort to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward without them. Part of a calculated effort to raise property values in the area by displacing the poor. They are by design, excluded. Unable to qualify.   Of course, Brad Pitt could have simply endorsed 'Habitat For Humanity'. A well known, proven, and efficient home building operation. Of course, the tens of millions in funding would have gone MUCH further.

But that would be too boring.   Big name celebrities have no desire to make the world a better place. 

Their primary goal is to appear as if they do.

It's a sham. Good will has become big business.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Hmm.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

This post will be a little sloppy for starters. I will clean it up and repost a better essay later. I just want to get the discussion started on how actors and executives use the illusion of 'good will' to maximize their own profits. It's a complicated web of affiliation.

How do modern era celebrities get so incredibly rich? It's not as simple as making movies and selling tickets anymore. Major studios and TV networks are now owned by giant corporations which also own entities within other industries. Their strategies to maximize profits are more calculated than ever.

For example, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have had a special relationship with NBC for years. Countrywide and other banking entities have been sponsors. Not to mention Lowes, Home Depot, and Electrolux. But it's not as simple as selling ad space anymore. NBC is owned by GE. GE also owns at least one major production studeo and entities within the banking industry.

Giant corporations have been working together for years with major media outlets to increase profits. Part of their strategy has been to cross-market their products and services. Also to affiliate with celebrities and create the illusion of 'good will'. When in fact, the idea is to increase awareness and demand for every product and service provided within the umbrella of parent companies and corporate sponsors. New Orleans is known worldwide for it's unique culture. Tourism has been big business in the area for decades. Make it Right is now affiliated with Hyatt Regency. A high end hotel right next to the New Orleans Stadium. There is already a giant dual promotion planned for next spring. Ellen Degeneres (NBC juggernaut) is going to play a major role in this dual promotion. Housing, the related financing and home improvements have also been big business for decades.

If the Lower Ninth Ward is redeveloped with fewer poor people, property values will be increased along with profits made by all those affiliated with Make it Right. The web of affiliation with Pitt, NBC, GE, Hyatt, Lowes, Home Depot, and the banking industry is sprawling to say the least. The operation has also been used to promote at least one 'home improvement' TV show that I know of. Holmes on Homes. I don't recall the network but the show is designed to sell more high end home improvements. It's all very calculated.

I'm telling you that good will has become big business.

If any of you have some more shady details, I'd like to read them.

[-] 1 points by AnonymousMuadDib (26) 2 years ago

Take on the Higher education bubble, student loan bubble, GoldmanSachs, and the federal Reserve all at the same time. Occupy the Art Institutes on Nov 5 in solidarity with south Florida.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=130962100345051

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278790262155872

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I did the rough calculations on the the concessions the Republicans insisted on to allow the nation's work (including ratification of an important nuclear arms control deal) to go forward in December 2010:

Those earning over one-quarter of a million dollars a year, the top 2%, got $163 billion in income and estate tax cuts - working out to $74,000 over two years for each average top 2% household.

Meanwhile, the bottom 98% got $600 billion in income tax cuts, social security tax cuts, and unemployment insurance - working out to $5200 for each average bottom 98% household. More than 10-fold less than the top 2% got.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues (the United States is), whether it's individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are .. Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what -- it's growing like crazy. And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty," she said ... There is a certain formula there that used to work for us until we abandoned it, to our regret in my opinion."

-Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, 2010

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

PROPOSED FAIRSHARE TAX PLAN

  1. Eliminate: Social Security taxes (fund Social Security from general revenue), sales taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes and tolls.
  2. A reformed very simple Federal Income Tax of 18-24% on income above a realistic poverty level ($30,000 for a family of three). Deductions only for medical expenses exceeding 10% of income and contributions to a tax-free account. Effective rates: 10% on $75,000; 20% on $400,000
  3. A Federal Net-Worth Tax of 1-2% on accumulated wealth over ~$800,000. Effective rates: 0.2%($2000) on $1 million; 2%($600,000) on $30 million.
  4. State and local governments set a surcharge on each household's federal tax bill to fund all their spending.
  5. Misc: Federal War-Tax surcharge whenever at war. Excise tax on fossil-fuels, cigarettes, etc. Tax breaks for small business employers. Taxes on corporate profits paid directly by corporation owners. Automatic tax-free savings with opt-out.

details: http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

SHOULD YOUR TAX RATE BE 3-FOLD HIGHER THAN BILLIONAIRES' TAX RATES?

If you add together all taxes at every level of government, the billionaire, Warren Buffett, pays a total tax rate (federal, state, local, corporate, other indirect taxes) amounting to 11% of his $8 billion income and investment gains. A typical single person earning a minimum wage pays total taxes amounting to 37% of her $14,500 annual wages, more than triple Mr. Buffett’s rate (see details http://fairsharetaxes.org). This is not only unfair, but also creates the market distortions that is ruining our economy and our future as a nation.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"There’s class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

-Warren Buffett

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"Why shouldn't the American people take half my money from me? I took it all from them." - Edward Filene, founder of Filene's Department Stores

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"As I've often said ... this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing."

  • Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"Why shouldn't the American people take half my money from me? I took it all from them."

  • Edward Filene, founder of Filene's Department Stores
[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

Written by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations," 1776. He's considered the father of economics and one of the first advocates of capitalism

[-] 1 points by getReal (2) 2 years ago

A section on the PBS News Hour a week or two ago said that if you count the significant economic value of the Social Security, pension, and/or health care benefit plans most people have, the percent of America's wealth controlled by each of the bottom 4 quintiles would be increased substantially.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I'd be interested in seeing the numbers. Do you have any?

[-] 1 points by raninja707 (1) 2 years ago

Abolish the fed my ninjas! It's illegal. Not enough states ratified the amendment to pass a graduated income tax! The Federal Reserve is more powerful than standing armies with their ability to print money out of THIN AIR as the adopt us into in'debt'tured servitude!!!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

A little off-topic I'm afraid.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Reducing taxes on the working poor and middle class boost consumption. Increasing taxes on the wealthy investor class to their fair share - rates equivalent to what the middle class has been paying for years would blunt investment bubbles that inevitable burst to cause recessions.

the combination would slash unemployment, increase GDP, increase tx revenues, help cut the national debt.

[-] 1 points by MarkDuwe (127) 2 years ago

It is not completely unreasobale for the rich to pay no taxes,...if they are forced to reinvest their net profits back into their businesses and therefore, expands said business and hires more people. If it is to just pad a bank account,..not good. But, yes, it is also very reasonable to assume someone who makes 38 million dollars a year to pay at least as much as someone who makes $38,000 a year, and I am not sure that is happening now.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I think you bring up a common fallacy. There can be too much investment as well as too little investment. When money invested goes up, consumption must go down - think of a see-saw. For a healthy economy things need to balanced.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Continued from above.. Think of the the extremes. A) All money used for consumption means no investment means no factories to produce products to consume. B) All money used for investment means factories built, making products, but no money left to consume them.

What we have now is more B than A. 4-Fold favored tax rates for investment relative to wages and the wealth concentration it produces, means too many investment dollars chasing too few worthy investments (Building factories when there are too few consumer dollars) That's an investment bubble that bursts causing a recession each time.

See more on taxes and the economy about halfway thru the essay http://fairsharetaxes.org/Essay.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

CBO Reports a Rising Tide has not Raised all Boats - Just the $10 million Yachts (actually the tide has been going out fast but the yachts are still doing fine)

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just published the study. It's worse than we expected:

From 1979 to 2007 the after-tax, inflation-adjusted income for top 1% went up 275%.

During the same period the after-tax, inflation-adjusted income for middle 60% went up just 40%.

For the poorest 20% it went up just 18%.

Note this is after-tax income. For the wealthiest this disparity was turbocharged by the disproportionate tax cuts they received over that time ... such that now a billionaire can pay only 11% of his $8 billion investment gain in total taxes (yes including his share of corporate taxes).

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

It raised the ones not anchored to the dock. lol

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yep anchored to the dock by tricky mortgages that should never have been written, anti-union activity, a Wall-Steet-greed-fueled recession, and a tax system that keeps the working poor and middle class from getting a financial leg up.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just published the study. It's worse than we expected:

From 1979 to 2007 the after-tax, inflation-adjusted income for top 1% went up 275%.

During the same period the after-tax, inflation-adjusted income for middle 60% went up just 40%.

For the poorest 20% it went up just 18%.

Note this is after-tax income. For the wealthiest this disparity was turbocharged by the disproportionate tax cuts they received over that time ... such that now a billionaire can pay only 11% of his $8 billion investment gain in total taxes (yes including his share of corporate taxes).

[-] 1 points by rrtroxell (1) 2 years ago

According to the last several US Conference of Mayors Reports, no one working at a full time minimum wage job can afford to get into and keep a one bedroom apartment anywhere throughout the country. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, this will result in 3.5 million homeless minimum wage workers this year alone.

In as much as the Federal Government sets the Federal Minimum Wage level (this year it is $7.25 an hour or about $14,000), and businesses (corporate and otherwise) pay the least of their workers by this standard,

It Is Proposed: That the Federal Minimum Wage be re-set to afford 40 hour a week workers the ability to afford basic Food, Clothing and Shelter (at least an efficiency apartment utilities included) wherever that work is done throughout the US. This can be characterized as a Living Wage.

Richard R. Troxell rrtroxell@aol.com www.UniversalLivingWage.org www.HouseTheHomeless.org (512) 796-4366

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Won't argue with that. Plus I would add let's make sure someone making a minimum wage pays almost no taxes .... rather that the jaw-dropping $5500 (37%) I came up with when you start adding together income, SS, sales, gas, property, all other taxes.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the wealthy aren't going to hand over their wealth

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

They will if the alternative for tax evasion is large fines and the alternative to paying those is having their property seized.

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I think that tax reform is required.

I really like the majority of the plan outlined in my brief overview. I need to give it a more serious read though.

And I agree with most of your post --

one point I DO have contention with is the economy of Bill Clinton. His policy was hardly the reason for the turn in the economy. A brand new technology was introduced and money raced to find ways to exploit this new market.

A chimpanzee could have thrown darts at a suggestion board and it would have been hard to destroy the boom in the market.

Other than that -- totally agree.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Can't argue: The website does say "Many things influence and economy, that said... Clinton ..."

My main point is that when Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, the GOP howled "It will kill jobs" "You are killing the job-creators" It's all in WSJ and other newspapers of that time. They were proved 100% wrong by history. [Bush cut taxes insisting that it would create jobs (and create surpluses!) There were other factors at work surely, but he was 100% wrong too.]

The "Job-killing" business is exactly what they GOP is howling now. Someone needs to point out just how wrong they were the last 2 times around.

If you like my ideas after reading the site more, please go to the page: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx and consider doing a few thing to promote consideration of something like my plan.

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I'm looking deeply at the plan now - I have to ask how you would impose a net worth tax?

Would this not incentivize moving money offshore and/or hiding your actual worth?

I understand the goal of this type of tax, but I am not sure it will have the desired effect.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Failure to declare networth in a foreign account or elsewhere would be a crime, punishable by large fines - and perhaps posting of the offender's name online. (Just as failure to disclose accounts and income from them are a crime now.) Enforcement has to be strong to make sure everyone pays their fairshare.

I actually think it is harder to hide net worth than income, but we don't give up aon taxing income.

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

Sure, it's a crime, but so is doing it currently - which the extremely wealthy currently do.

There are so many ways to hide wealth.

I am a 1%er. I have seen the levels of depravity people will stoop to when trying to save that last dollar.

If I were in your plan - and my goal was to abuse this system and keep my income - I would immediately declare my citizenship as Canadian, Bahamian or any other country.

The US would have every right to tax the earnings I made in this country, but the US would have no right to claim my wealth. Further, they'd have no insight into my true wealth as I would not be a citizen of the nation.

It's an easy thing to say, but an impossibility to enforce. Even if I agree with the sentiment.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes, it is sad that anyone who can afford it, like you or me, would drop their citizenship just to avoid paying total tax rates similar to what they've been content to let the working-poor and middle class pay for years.

But good. Those dropping their US citizenship (simply for being asked to pay their fair share to the country gave them the opportunity to become rich) may never travel to this country again, own property here, or invest in US securities. Should a good bit of their property be seized (equivalent to 10 years of anticipated taxes under the Fairshare System)?

PS I'm pretty sure Canada would not take you. They have a well-run country, where people have a sense of social responsibility. They've had no toxic-debt housing crisis. They look with distain (sp?) at the US where the greedy guts were allowed to run wild for all those years.

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

You could never enforce the notion that people who drop their US citizenship would never be allowed to travel to the US again, own property here or invest here without a drastic overhauling of the rights, freedoms and liberties in this country.

Further, even if you had such a system, try proving that I changed citizenship due to this reason.

Finally, you're wrong about Canada. I am a Canadian. You're making a broad generalizing statement about their "social responsibility". The toxic-debt housing crisis is due to certain political choices and banking choices they've made. This goes to the argument that money and politics don't work (and Canada has a law against money in politics for this very reason).

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Ok if you are a Candian already, they would take you. There would be very few with that kind of option. (I'm a dual citizen with Switzerland - They instituted a net worth tax by-the-way, had almost no capital flight, seem to have plenty of money sloshing around, and a vigorous economy - one of the best in Europe I would say)

No need to prove the reason for dropping US citizenship. Once you're not a citizen it's up to those of us remaining here to decide what foreign nationals can enter the country, own property etc. Ever hear of a "Man Without a Country?"

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I like the notion and concept behind a "net worth tax" - but again, I'm not sure it incentivizes the right behavior. Or more to the point - it gives incentives to poor behavior.

Again, I like the idea. I think it's actually a fair way of handling a potential problem.

You point to the simplicity in determining wealth - but this can be quite a confusing concept to people with multiple homes. How are they valued? The current property tax value which is usually not market value? What if I own a house in Mexico?

What about homes and cars? Collectables? My wealth could be tied up in a baseball card collection -- what is the value I assign to Mickey Mantle?

Finally, I think it's a misnomer to compare Switzerland and America due to the size differences. Smaller populated countries, when run effectively, actually promote a strong society where non-participation is frowned on by the populous. If you try to evade the system - it's frowned upon or if you completely mooch of the system it's frowned up. Smaller societies is the natural state of man and allows society to influence the individual. This is why socialism can work so well in small countries. The larger populations allow for more deviant and un-society-based punishment. It's harder to contain and motivate the best behavior.

Take this to the extremes - a tribe of 20 people is easy to justify complete communalism. In fact, it is the only way that will result in tribe survival. Take that and expand it to a city of 12 million - and there is no way to enforce communalism. In fact, by it's very nature the city would tear itself apart quickly as people get lost in the shuffle and the things they need to deliver aren't met.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I agree with your point about community size and the urge to socially responsible if only to avoid being treated like a moocher. As I said, under FairShare, let's post the names of tax evaders online for say 3 years - use the web to make us more like one big community.

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I like the idea, but people would feel this is an invasion of privacy.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes. That's the one downside I can think of. Careful law needs to be crafted to keep the net-worth information private and secure within the IRS and used only for computation of taxes.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I don't know. Is it a crime to attempt to steal from the government and your fellow citizens - say to the tune of evading $100,000 in taxes. If you shoplift a $1 pack of gum, it winds up in the public record.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Here's a bit from the "Criticisms Anwered" page:

Some will say that calculating taxable net-worth (in addition to taxable income, as we do now) will be too expensive and time-consuming (Wrong). Despite the addition of a Net-worth Tax for the wealthiest, the tax calculation is vastly simplified under the Fair Share Tax plan. A look at the Sample Tax Form demonstrates this. It covers federal, state, and municipal taxes. Just as banks, brokerages, and mutual fund companies report investment income now, they would report year-end assets, both to the taxpayer and the IRS. Municipalities would remain responsible for establishing and reporting the value of real estate with a largely automated process standardized across the US. States would report car ownership with the value determined by model and year. The first $50,000 in household and personal items would be exempt from the net-worth tax. As they do now privately-owned businesses of any significant size would need an accountant to calculate their year-end value and divide it between the different partnership stakes. With these figures and the Tax Form in hand the calculation is easy. In the end 75% percent of households would be able to certify they have nowhere near the net-worth limit that is exempt from the Net-worth Tax. About 15% of households would probably end up making the calculation but owe no taxes. Only about 12% of households would owe a Net-worth Tax. No more than the wealthiest 1-2 % of households (those owning complicated securities and involved in complex business partnerships) would need to hire an accountant to sort out their taxes. This is a vast improvement over our current tax system in which 80% of households need help with their income tax returns. There could be online and spreadsheet versions of the tax form in which, after you fill out about 20 lines, the calculations would be done for you. In fact, since all figures are from forms both you and the IRS would receive, the IRS could send every household a pre-filled tax return form. The household would then need to confirm or correct the information, sign it, and send it back. Right now individuals and corporations spend $200 billion each year to calculate their taxes. I estimate that under the Fair Share Tax plan this figure could easily be cut by 80-90%. Governments (i.e. taxpayers) would also realize similar saving in tax administration under this vastly simplified tax system.

http://fairsharetaxes.org/Talkingpoints.aspx

you might also like: http://fairsharetaxes.org/TaxForm.aspx

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

Again - this does not handle out of country taxable items.

If I'm in the top wealth percentage, I would base my life in another country. Own very little in the US. Second home would no longer be in Hawaii but rather in the Caribbean. Any super sports cars would be registered and titled in Canada.

It's not that I am against the concept - but to actually support the concept I would have to see how it would be handled.

Tax and tax accounting is a big business. You would have to be prepared to unemploy a large segment of the population as companies downsized their accounting departments and local tax professionals would be completely bankrupt.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I don't know. Even the Swiss with their bank secrecy laws are reporting to the IRS now. And how many people are willing to bury their money in a Bahamian bank account getting 0.5% interest .. when they could be in the US stock market earning on average 8% and paying 1/4 of that (2%) in taxes?

Yeah reemploy the CPA's doing something more productive than tax evasion ... perhaps doing epidemiology in medical studies, teaching school, installing solar panels ...

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I think there is a delicate balance. Too much in either direction has a destructive tendency.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

See the heading "The economy is far form ideal" about halfway through the long essay http://fairsharetaxes.org/Essay.aspx on the website:

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I think the balance is way in the wrong direction now. Everytime investments are taxed way less than wages, and wealth is thereby concentrated in the investor class; supply and demand dictates that too many investment dollars chase too few worthy investment dollars .. investment prices must rise unsustainably (especially as high taxes on wages suppress consumption) ...burst bubble...recession.

It happened in:

1930 Great Depression (the GOP slashed investment taxes in the mid-1920 and the top 2% accumulated 55% of the nation's wealth

2001 (4 years after the GOP got Clinton to slash capital gain and dividend taxes)

2007 (5 years after the Bush tax cuts on wealthy investors further. I don't think securitized mortgages would have been invented if they were not so tax-protected and if the top 2% investing class had not accumulated 55% of the nation's wealth. Too much investment money being thrown at Wall Street sloshing around and Wall Street had to invent new (dangerous ways) to absorb it before competitors did.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I do agree that it is in the wrong direction right now too. It definitely needs solving.

Although - it's not just the "investor" class that keeps the investment prices high. 401k plans and mutual funds inflate this number.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I'm actually for reducing investment from the wealthy investor class (through the tax code), and balancing things by partly replacing some of that investment from all levels of society .. with a unified education/retirement tax free account set up for all employees automatically - unless they opt out. Details toward middle of this page:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I guess I don't see the benefit of a tax free investment if I am not earning interest. Please explain more.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The tax free account could be in stocks, bond, money markets, savings accounts, CD's. Most likely a combo of mutal funds for some people. And under the Fairshare tax plan up to 10% of income or $10,000 per spouse (whichever is smaller) could go into it income-tax-free each year, and it is tax-free in terms of any net-worth tax you may owe. The maximum in the account is capped at levels depending on your age.

[-] 1 points by shutupyall (2) 2 years ago

Your looking at published rates, but I make less than 37k a year, and last year I got back over a thousand dollars MORE than I paid in combined federal, state, and local taxes in my refund. My experience is not uncommon, as nearly everyone I work with had similar results last year. The government gives up FREE money, untaxed, every year. Look at your returns and report back honestly.

[-] 1 points by jadee (40) 2 years ago

Same here, I always get back more than I pay in. I'm not exactly proud of it, but they want me to file taxes.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No please look at the site. The numbers are all there in spreadsheets and elsewhere. I'm not looking at published rates. I did the 1040. I calculated the payroll (soc security) taxes. I calculated state income taxes for NY. I calculated typical sales taxes and gas taxes. I calculated her indirect property taxes and corporate taxes. I added them all together and divided by her yearly income. Then I did the very same for middle class tax payers and Warren Buffett, aided by the information he has published.

Remember federal income taxes represent only 30% of the taxes collected in the US.

Rates: Min wage worker 37% WarrenBuffett 11%

see http://fairsharetaxes.org/fourtaxpayers.aspx

[-] 1 points by jadee (40) 2 years ago

I'm not sure why Mr. Buffet's taxes are 11%, regardless the top earners in this country make up 38% of the total federal income tax collected according to 2008 IRS data. The top 50% pay 97% of total income tax.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The rich (however you define them) paying 38% of the feral income taxes is not the same as their paying a 38% tax rate.

In fact the IRS also reports that the top 400 earners pay and average federal income tax rate of 17% . Some pay no taxes at all.

Plus the federal income tax is only 30% of all taxes paid in this country. You have to add in gas taxes, soc security taxes, property taxes etc, etc,.. they all shift the tax burden away from the rich onto the working poor and middle class.

Finally from the website:

Thirdly, the argument that "because the very wealthy pay most of federal income taxes means they are paying enough" is simply not a valid argument. Under that logic (in a 20-person economy), it would be fair to charge each of the 19 bank tellers a 100% tax on their $15,000 yearly salaries and charge the bank president a 4% tax on his $10,000,000 salary ... because, after all, the top 5% (the bank president) would be paying about 60% of all taxes.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The Congressional Budget Office just published the study. It's worse than we expected:

From 1979 to 2007 the after-tax, inflation-adjusted income for top 1% went up 275%.

During the same period the after-tax, inflation-adjusted income for middle 60% went up just 40%.

For the poorest 20% it went up just 18%.

Note this is after-tax income. For the wealthiest this disparity was turbocharged by the disproportionate tax cuts they received over that time ... such that now a billionaire can pay only 11% of his $8 billion investment gain in total taxes (yes including his share of corporate taxes).

[-] 1 points by golfjabroni (4) 2 years ago

Hold it...Warren Buffet pays 2%, and a minimum wage earner pays 100 fold higher? You are telling me that a minimum wage worker pays 200% taxes?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yep. As clearly stated, the figures are percent of net worth (wealth). It's really the best measure of economic standing and the extent to which a household has benefited from the economic infrastructure that governments provide. Many of the working poor pay many times more (2 times=200%, ten times=1000%) than their net worth in taxes each year.

[-] 1 points by VeganBaby (7) 2 years ago

Buffett isn't a good example, he owes 1 billion dollars in past due taxes, why aren't we boycotting him at OWS? also I did research and the bottom 50% only pay 2.9% of the tax burden, I was so shocked!

I was never into politics before and this movement has made me more politically aware, the scary thing is this though, the more I read about issues the more I find myself agreeing with the right. Please help me relate to the left side of the issues again.

[-] 2 points by ltjaxson (184) 2 years ago

The bottom 50 percent only pay 2.9 percent of the taxes, but the only own 1 percent of the taxable wealth... This means that 50 percent of the nation's population owe more than they own. (Do you have more debt than savings? Because if you do, then you fall into this category) The only reason this number isnt lower is because by the time you are reach retirment age, you have worked fot 45 years and chances are you finally own your house, car, etc. The right have legitimate claims on social issues, but when it comes to the economy, they are in the same boat. Republicans have built the most dis-jointed coalition in the history of US politics by disguising these socially conservative issues to push through their real agenda - fiscal conservatism! Democrats are not that much better, but at least they act like they care!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Absolutely right! Yet some say: "But the top 5% already pays 60% of the taxes." (Wrong!) Firstly, the top 5% own 55% of the wealth (net worth) in this country. It seems that they are under-taxed if they pay only 60% of the taxes while 15% of the nation lives in poverty.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

However, secondly, the sound-bite is wrong. The correct statistic is: The top 5% of households in terms of federal adjusted gross income pay 60% of the federal income tax. That is, the sound-bite refers only to federal income tax on federally taxable income. Federal income tax accounts for only about 30% of taxes collected from individuals in the United States. Our other taxes, like payroll taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, and property taxes, shift the total tax burden from the wealthy investing class to the working middle-class. It is more nearly accurate to say the top 5%, who hold 55% of the nation's wealth, pay only about 35% of all taxes in the United States.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Buffett is a good example. i just extended my analysis to an 8 year period 2000-2008. His wealth went up $40 billion during that time, so that's how much he "made"- on average 5 billion per year. (His spending is insignificant compared to that, much less than 1%. I did adjust the figure for the $4 billion he contributed to charity during the period)

The personal taxes he paid are insignificant, much much less than 1% of that $40 billion. However, in all fairness we need to consider the taxes paid by his company Berkshire Hathaway, where virually all his wealth comes form and is held. Over that 8 year period the company paid about $22 billion in taxes. What part of this did Buffett in effect pay? He owned about 1/3 of the company and economists tell us that about half of all corporate taxes are ultimately passed on the owner-investor (the other half is ultimately paid by workers, consumers). So $22 billion x 1/3 x 1/2 = $3.7 billion is Buffett's share of Berkshire Hathaways taxes. Add 8 years of his personal direct taxes, about 0.1 billion and you get $3.8 billion for direct and indirect taxes he paid while hi made that $40 billion.

So 3.8 billion/$40 billion = a total tax rate of just under 10% on his investment gains.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You are falling into the GOP/Tea Party trap of considering only the federal income tax, which is only 30% of the taxes we pay in this country. Virtually all of the other 70% of taxes collected shift the tax "burden" onto the working poor and middle class. A single typical minimum wage worker pays a tax rate of 37% if you consider all taxes at every level of government.

And did you know that the bottom 50% has less than 1% of the nation's wealth (net worth). Seems if they are paying 2.9% of federal income tax, they are being overtaxed even by that, the most progressive of our many taxes.

[-] 0 points by golfjabroni (4) 2 years ago

But yet you are focusing your attention on people who are regulated by the Federal Government. The Federal Government has nothing to do with state and local taxes. You are comparing apples and oranges in an attempt to bring about anarchy.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I don't understand your point. Please elucidate.

[-] 1 points by golfjabroni (4) 2 years ago

Your statements only make sense if you are able to control state and local taxes, which is entirely Unconstitutional. Therefore, the only changes you can make or work for at a national level are changes in the federal tax code. If you really look at the federal taxes, you would find that about half of all "taxpayers" are really paying nothing, and in fact, over a quarter are making money during tax season. The rich are paying in, but the poor, those who benefit already from many tax-funded social programs, are also receiving a check from Uncle Sam without having paid money into the system.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 2 years ago

That is mainly due to the child tax credit which they are reducing this year.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I think most states and localities would happily voluntarily give up their expensive tax collection bureaucracies and just send their surcharge number to the feds every year and then let the money flow back. States that took some regressive tax states rights stand would rapidly find themselves loosing their workforces as the bottom 80%, probably 95% of workers, would leave for states with progressive taxation. The citizens of any hold out states or towns could sue in the Federal Courts, seeking "equal protection." Alternatively we could amend the Constitution.

All the rest of your comments have already been addressed many times over in this thread.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by jadee (40) 2 years ago

If my state or county officials tried to sell out our current tax system to the federal government, the communities in which they live in would not have it. The more power you give to the federal government the quieter your voice becomes. This would be a cause I would occupy against.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Sell out?

OK your state and community could have you fill out a separate form, write a separate check, employ a bunch of people at your expense to send out and process the forms.

Personally I'd rather fill out one form, write one check and not have my taxes go to pay all those salaries at town hall.

Remember under my suggestion, the feds would collect what your state/town chose and under law pass that money directly to your state's/town's accounts without condition.

[-] 1 points by jadee (40) 2 years ago

And if taxes get too high, what do you do? It's a lot easier and possible for me to go to our town meetings every Tues. then to pack up and move to D.C. and hope they accomplish something.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Again you're not getting it. You go to the town meeting and say "Last year you set Smithtown's taxes to 41% of each town resident's federal tax bill. It came to $4,100,000. If you fire the dogcatcher and close down the "Smithtown Muncipal Phobia Treatment Center," you can save $200,000. You could then decrease our surcharge rate to 39%. Do it or I'll organize all my neighbors to vote against you come November."

look at the last few lines on the form here - maybe that will help to clarify:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/TaxForm.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Still have not heard back. I'd like some more feedback!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Did you get the above post. I want to be sure you understand the proposal correctly before you dismiss it.

[-] 0 points by VeganBaby (7) 2 years ago

Yeah but you're making it seem like the rich don't pay anything when they're still paying the majority of taxes. I want to believe the spin from the left but it's not resonating with me.

[-] 2 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Read what you just wrote. What if the rich, however you define them, pay the majority of taxes? Using that to justify their paying total tax rates 3 times lower than the working poor is the equivalent of saying:

It is fair (in this 20 person economy) to charge each of the 19 bank tellers a 100% tax on their $15,000 yearly salaries and charge the bank president a 4% tax on his $10,000,000 salary ... because, after all, the top 5% (the bank president) would be paying about 60% of all taxes.

[-] 1 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 2 years ago

The rich pay more of the tax burden pie because they earn most of the income and we are taxed percentage-wise.

Warren Buffet's total tax burden is in the six figures.

A minimum wage worker only earns 14 K a year, even if you taxed that minimum wage guy at 100% he wouldn't and couldn't pay the same amount of tax IN DOLLARS as Warren Buffett. Does that make sense?

We are taxed on a percentage of income so we each should pay a proportionate share of our incomes not a proportionate share of the total tax burden.

We don't all earn the same amount of money, we won't pay the same DOLLAR AMOUNT in taxes.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Can't agree with you more. Unbelievably there was someone in this thread who thought every man, woman and child should pay the same tax. I pointed out to him that this would come to $52,000 for every family of 4 and that would be a little impractical since half of all households make less than that.

[-] 1 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 2 years ago

Yes! That's a good way to illustrate it.

That talking point of "the rich pay more (in dollars)" was put out by conservative media purposely to confuse their viewers and it's working, especially among those who are fuzzy on doing math.

We could also take it a step further and talk about who really benefits from the Federal tax pie.

Wars protect the interests of the rich, all war does for poor people is consume their sons & daughters.

Wall Street requires an elaborate structure of Federal regulation to "keep it honest" and that structure doesn't even do its job well, but we still must pay for it.

The court system - heavily used by the rich. Lawsuits, copyright enforcement, etc etc. Another system that works to protect them and consume "us".

How many tax dollars does it cost to give one old lady food stamps versus one corporation's bloated govt contract or subsidy?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Or as I put it in the essay at my site: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Essay.aspx

"Taxing wealth and a progressive overall tax system is fair in another respect. The wealthy, to a much greater extent than the working-poor and middle-class, have amassed their fortunes by exploiting the “economic infrastructure” provided by governments. For instance, compared to the middle class, those who have become very wealthy through commerce and investment have generally benefited more from: physical infrastructure (e.g. highways); inexpensive fuel (subsidies, military intervention in the Middle East); public education and subsidized higher education (of their employees or employees of companies they invest in); subsidized medical care for those injured by pollution, harmful products, and employment; environmental cleanups; government-funded research; the internet (!); domestic order (system of laws, police forces); a judiciary (to adjudicate commercial disputes); economic "stability" (fiscal and monetary policy); business regulation; corporate subsidies; financial industry bailouts (!!); and so on. Such services are provided by governments and paid for to a great extent by working-poor and middle-class taxpayers. They should not be paying greater tax rates than the wealthy since they have profited from these government services much less than the wealthy have."

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

You've got it exactly right, Vegan. The left would have you concentrate on RATES, not cold hard CASH. I could say, "Boo hoo, Johnny made no money in 2011 and paid nothing in taxes, therefore he paid 100% of his income, how unfair!" The fact is, the percentage is always going to be higher the lower on the income scale you go, unless you aren't driving a car, buying groceries, etc. All the more reason to argue against all sorts of these other taxes to start with but we need roads, environmental programs, 911 operators, programs to get you off cigarettes or drugs, don't ya' know,.But back to the main point, spending is what has gotten completely out of control in this country, not taxes. This tax fight is just an excuse to stay with the status quo, to keep the social welfare state in tact as much as possible and enslave the populace, in this case rich people, but do you really think it will stop there? The insatiable beast of the federal government, without a concerted effort and severe pushback (TEA party) constantly looks for new revenue streams because the pols are cowards and don't ever want to say NO (not good for your election chances). You have to make them say no. I hope you do.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You should look at my website. It has total taxes increased 7% and spending cut 16%. (There is no serious economist who believes that the budget can be balance on spending cuts alone.) My plan balances the budget in 2-3 years and pays off the national debt to 40% of GDP in 16 years.

Oh and it cuts the taxes of the working poor and middle class by simply having the wealthy pay tax rates that the working poor and middle class have been paying all this year.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

It isn't anything that is called a tax that does this.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I don't follow your question. Please be more explicit.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

The issue that keeps the poor poor and destroys most American's ability to save and invest is the hidden tax of inflation.

What caused the middle class boom in America was the rise of the industrial revolution which allowed people to have steady income (much less interrupted by drought or flood, or crop disease, or insect) which allowed them future planning and the ability to save. These savings added up and could be used to lower future costs (buy a house thus avoiding rent) or increase future income (kids to school, rental property, sewing machine and make money on the side).

The ability to save is destroyed by inflation. Since inflation is an increase in the money supply it devalues the stored savings by diluting it. This forces people to invest which means exposing their savings to risk (and is a nice boon to corporations) since they are economically incentivized to invest where there is risk - overall savings rates are less stable. This also makes them less risk-averse which increases the likliehood of bubble formation (and the resulting collapse which destroys wealth).

This is most horrible on the poor who are more likely to use cash transactions as the inflation affects worst those last to use it while it benefits early users (banks, then big corps, then big business, then small business, then consumer). This keeps the poor always struggling just to stay where they are as their real costs rise at a higher rate than their income and makes those little steps up (lowering cost, increasing income) available to the working poor during the industrial revolution extremely hard to take advantage of.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Um - yes inflation hurts the poor more than wealthy. But there will always be inflation despite all efforts to hold it in check. Further inflation has been very low for 10 years and the poor have never bee worse off. So there must be something else going on - perhaps something (unlike inflation, which is already largely tamed) that can be address to give the poor a leg up:

I know it's taxes. A minimum wage worker pays about $5500 in total taxes (fed, state, local, indirect) 37% on her $14,500 annual salary. You don't think that's keeping her down more than our current 2% inflation. Why not cut that tax to a few hundred. Oh but we have a deficit. OK why not balance her tax cuts with having billionaires pay more than 11% on $8 billion investment gains.

Doing so would also reduce investment bubbles which lead to recessions which set back the poor and middle class so much.

Someone should come up with a plan like that. Oh wait! I already have...

http://fairsharetaxes.org

http://fairsharetaxes.org/TaxChart.aspx for effective tax rates under the plan

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

We have far more than 2% inflation. You cannot go by the numbers the government reports as they often change their basket of goods as well as the formula itself they use to create CPI. For one it outright ignores food and energy costs which are two very real costs for consumers making it a not very good Consumer Price Index.

I don't know how you can say that billionaires are currently paying 11% on investments when dividends are charged at normal income levels and capital gains are taxed at 15% and then are also charged at normal income level rates.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

OK say inflation is twice what the govt reports - 4%. And say our minimum wage worker spends all her after-tax income every year. Inflation is then robbing her of about $400 in buying power a year.

Compare to all the taxes she pays: It's robbing her of about $5500 a year - 14 times more than inflation.

QED http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

I find taxes to be highly problematic from a moral and practical position but I find inflation to be more harmful. Examining the situation in a micro perspective you're right but in macro scope I believe the individual in question would be benefited more via removal of the purposeful inflation mechanism due to the massive amount of returned opportunity cost of others.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I can divine no meaning from your last statement. Meta-physics won't keep food on the table of the overtaxed minimum wage worker. The Fair Share Tax Reform will. http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

It isn't physics. Micro and macro are dealing with the economic scale.

For example you wish "for all other things to remain unchanged" then yes your solution is better. However macroeconomics is a complex system which means that the change of one value changes how all other values are calculated. This means there is no such thing as "all other things remaining unchanged". This is the difference from micro to macro.

For example can you estimate the net gain for this person as the result of less bubble formation? Nope, neither can I, neither can anyone. Its an unknown cost of mandating inflation.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

So your answer is to do nothing to improve tax fairness and our economy because the result of any change is not fully predictable?

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

Not at all. I don't find that it logically concludes that because I recognize the economy as a complex system that I must then conclude our current intrusions into the market are the best they can be.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

So you like the current outcomes with 9% unemployment, 1.6% annual average S&P 500 returns, corporations choosing our leaders, the worst recession in 80 years, slashed spending on economic infrastructure, federal deficits as far as the eye can see.

You won't even consider returning to Clinton tax policy: 4% unemployment, 9% S&P 500 annual returns, stable growth, almost no inflation, federal surpluses, plenty of see-money for fututre economic growth...

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

Once again - no I don't like the current system. This is what I just said. I wish to change the system we have no because it is exploitative - we simply disagree on how to change it for the better.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

OK - What's your solution? - Post it and I'll read it.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

I'd like to stop that which incentivizes business to get involved in government and that which distracts government from its core functions. Remove government involvement in the market to foster more competition instead of creating government favored players who end up writing their own regulatory rules. Stop treating corporations as legal people with the same rights as real individuals. End all corporate welfare, phase out all business welfare quickly, and phase out all individual welfare over 5 years. End our military adventurism and use some of the savings to pay off debt and use the other to fund SS and failing programs while starting to end them by allowing people to withdraw from them.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The very wealthy can keep most of their capital gains "unrealized" - unreported and therefore untaxed (ie taxed at 0%) - sort of brings the average down.

See the calculation - it's all on the spreadsheet - which has been posted and so vetted for 2 years. It's accurate and tells the whole story:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/Fourtaxpayersdata.aspx

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

If they aren't realized they aren't gains (or losses). This is a common misconception - My stocks while having gone up in value have not made me any profit, any money at all - until I sell them.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

So you want the following to continue: Warren Bufffett can start the year with $40 billion, end the year with $48 billion (just under $8 billion unrealized gains). I think very few folks with common sense would not view that extra $8 billion he made over the year as non-income.

He only realized (cashes in about 8million of those gains) so is only taxed - at special reduced rates about half of what workers pay - on 0.1% of his gains. Effective tax rate, including his share of Berkshire Hathaway's corporate taxes: 11% of investment income and gains.

Since it's hard to spend more than a few million a year, Buffett never needs to realize those gains, so they grow tax free year after year. Meanwhile a minimum wage worker pays 37% on 100% her wages. That's fair? Plus thru supply and demand, this favored tax treatment of investment gains drives investment bubbles and recessions?

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

No - ideally I'd like a flat sales tax with a prebate for those who make 30k and under.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

OK so you basically want the so-called "Fair Tax." Under that Warren Buffet's tax rate on his investment gains go from 11% to 0.04% while the minimum wage worker would pay 21% on her wages, a 500 fold higher rate.

See bottom of page: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Fourtaxpayersdata.aspx

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 2 years ago

I don't care what anyone else's tax rate becomes as a percentage of imagined profits. Why should I unless my goal is to harm or benefit others more than another group?

I care that the burden is even and those who use more resources (buy stuff) will end up paying more taxes. If you don't buy a lot (as Warren Buffet does not - he lives in a modest house with a modest car) you don't get taxed a lot. If you spend like a playboy you get taxed for it.

Simple and fair.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The extremely rich and their GOP puppets love a consumption tax because they know the very wealthy need only spend a tiny fraction of their income, investment gains and wealth to lead an opulent life, whereas all working poor and middle class spend all or nearly all of what they earn to get by. Any consumption tax is simply another tax cut for the rich, who are already undertaxed.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The so-called "Fair Tax" is not fair. The extent you've profited from using the infrastructure society (ie Government, ie all taxpayers) provides is reflected best by your income and accumulated wealth, not by how much you buy.

Tax is not a punishment. It is a civic duty - to give back for the good of all an future generations in proportion to the extent you profited from what those who came before you built. If you scheme (or Caine's or Perry's) cuts the taxes of the very rich further, someone has to pay more if you want to cut the deficit. (There is only so much spending that can be cut.) So you want to tax the already overtaxed (35-39%) working poor and middle class more

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Febs, Pete's plan is only fair in that it's his idea of "fair". He is just going after the biggest piles of money to subsidize the welfare state. He mentions that "there is only so much spending that can be cut", which is kind of like the word "fair", depends on what you think money needs to be spent. We could get rid of entire departments of the federal government, cut the military, reduce entitlements, outlaw public unions, the list is long. He has a strawman in that no one I know is suggesting to cut taxes on the wealthy "further". They're fine where they are. Get rid of the loopholes, get rid of the ridiculous tax code, do a simple one page declaration of income and you have your tax. I wouldn't really be that opposed to a "luxury" tax on expensive items that only rich people buy to raise a bit of revenue. They waste money on all kinds of stuff and adding another 3 or 4% on top of it won't keep them from buying it. Planes, Rolls Royces, expensive, jewelry, a lot of stuff that normal people won't ever have to worry about. But the difference in our income and expenses will never be bridged without some painful cuts.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I'm with you partially, Pete. I would like the low income and lower middle class to pay less across the board, but I do not think the solution is raising taxes on the rich. The rich are fine where they are. I haven't run the numbers, nor do I wish to, on the net total outlays percentage-wise of your 4 classes of people of the total tax burden after your program has been enacted. The wealth tax is going to be a hard sell for people who have family farms/businesses with relatively high asset value but not enough cash to pay the taxes. I think overall spending is going to have to drastically be cut. I like many of your spending cuts, but don't now exactly what they add up to. I do know we have a $1.5 trillion dollar annual deficit, and closing in on $15T in debt. I also know you can't tax the wealthiest 1% enough to make a meaninful impact on that $1.5T. It is just one small piece of a much larger puzzle. It just happens to be the one thing the easiest to stir up passion against. No one wants to be the bad guy and talk about entitlements. Cutting military spending would seem to be a relatively easy thing to talk about, but there are a lot of vested interests, lots of jobs at stake in the behemoth that it's become. Cut it 35% (which is fine with me) over 5 years, and lots of people are going to lose their jobs. These are the unpleasant things that Americans are unfortunately going to, one way or the other, come to grips with.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

My proposal pretty much takes care of you. Except as every commission (all with Dem and Reps on them) came up with, unless you want to slash social security and medicare and the military, there needs to be a combination of increased taxes and spending cuts.

I propose cutting working poor and middle-class taxes, getting the wealthy to pay total tax rates something like the rates the middle-class and working poor are now paying. In all it increases taxes about 7%

At the site I propose spending cuts of about 16% (twice the net tax increases). I'm not an economist. I'm fine with cutting the military 35% over 8years if it will reduce disruptions to the economy and give those submarine makers time to retrain to make solar panels.

The result is budget surpluses in about 3 years and paying off the national debt completely over about 30 years.

See this page which takes into account the entire plan:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/NationalDebt.aspx

see http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by AnnaViolet (4) from Indianapolis, IN 2 years ago

It seems to me that tax reform should start with a flat social security tax. Right now anyone making 200,000 a year pays only 50% of the rate paid by anyone (including minimum wage) making $100,000 or more; someone making a million a year pays 1/10th of what a minimum wage person makes. Someone living off a trust fund pays nothing! Since we stand out among developing nations for our child poverty, abuse and murder rates, we should use the 'extra' income to support the social sescurity of children -- they are just as important as our elders.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Did you get a chance to look at my site: http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

All good points. I get at much of what you suggest with my plan by eliminating the payrol (soc security) tax and paying social security from general revenue, which is funded through a progressive tax.

-Pete http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by ddiggs690 (277) 2 years ago

How about completely replacing the entire tax system with a single land tax. Currently, only about 7% of the bottom 80% of earners own their own home without a mortgage. There is and always has been a huge disparity in land ownership between the wealthy and the poor. We always propose tax reforms and then they never produce the results we want and 4 years later we are fighting for new tax reform. We should have a tax based on sound economic theory, not someone's opinion. Read on to get a basic summary of how economic rent is extracted by landowners. This is not my opinion, but is the law of production.

The theory of economic rent has been around for some time, but land taxation has seldom been implemented throughout history. It is well known that the factors of production are composed of land, labor and capital. Land, in the economic sense, can be explained as anything with a productive capacity that has not been created by men or women, but has value created by the community. Labor is any human energy spent , whether by the mind or through brute force, that contributes to a means of production. Capital is mainly what is spent from savings for future production. Under the current system, mainly labor and capital are taxed, while the landed elite make out like bandits with the rents that are created by the community! It is no surprise that civilizations have suffered from vast inequalities since the founding of the first governments.

What we need to fight for is a redistribution of these economic rents for the sake of the people, while at the same time reducing the tax rates on labor and capital. These rents from land are the source of all wealth and are presently held by a small number of wealthy people who will speculate and slow there productive capacity in order to increase profits.

This demand goes out to the people of OWS! If there is one thing we need to change in order to promote equality, environmental protection and job creation through increased productive capacity, this is the solution we need. Please read about economic rent and land taxation in order to fully grasp the concept.

This is something proven in theory and not based on anyone's personal opinion or ideology. While we are divided on many things, it's time to come together with some real demands to benefit the majority of unrepresented individuals of the world. Lets show the top 1% that we know where their unearned wealth is coming from and that we know exactly what is needed in order to bring them back to the real world!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Wouldn't work. The very wealthy in particular would shift all their money into non-land assets and so owe no taxes.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by ddiggs690 (277) 2 years ago

That would be a positive side-effect. It would force land speculators to get rid of the land not being used and to make full use of the land they need. With this decrease in demand it would drive prices lower to an affordable level for everyone. I'm not claiming this is a magic system, but any place that has adobted this form of tax has experienced drastic increases in productivity, lower poverty, greater distribution of wealth, lower crime rates and the list goes on. The problem is that a land tax hasn't been implemented on a large enough level to gain recognition and it needs to be done in conjuction with reduced income taxes.

I suggest you read a little more about it. You might be surprised at what you learn and might want to include it in the fair share plan. Here's a detailed analysis if you feel like taking the time to read up on it.

http://www.henrygeorge.org/pdfs/PandP_Drake.pdf

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I read through it. I fail to see how it fix our unfair tax system in any way.

[-] 1 points by ddiggs690 (277) 2 years ago

I find it hard to believe you read through the entire book and have a good grasp on the three factors of production and how the wealth of society has always been exploited by the few that own the majority of the land. Throw away every idea you have ever had about what land means to you because, in economics, land has an entirely different meaning and is much more complex. I have oversimplified the idea of land to cater to the audience and to encourage people to engage in this topic. I wish I could explain the theory in detail, but that's just not realistic on a forum. Do not take my word for it and do not dismiss the idea without fully understanding what it means. Please read more about it to fully grasp the concept.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Admittedly, I didn't read every word. However taxing based on land holdings harkens back to our agrarian past, when a household's wealth was almost all tied up in its land holdings. Now land value often represents many times a middle class family's net worth, but a tiny fraction of a wealthy family's net worth.

[-] 1 points by ddiggs690 (277) 2 years ago

But wealth is directly tied to the land and multiplies as we we develop new ways as a society to harness the power of nature. So people's wealth should be directly tied to land and this tax is to allow for a natural redistribution of wealth without impeding the free market. If you don't want to read the book at least look up LVT and see what happened to some of the places who implemented it. All of the places showed positive results and none of these places have even captured half of the land value.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

That's why real estate taxes are so regressive. They don't make taxes proportional to the extent that a household has profited from government services.

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

I'm sorry it won't work. Read your history. Go back to a single sales or commerce tax.

[-] 2 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I know history. Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, the GOP screamed it would "kill jobs" and we had the best decade economially ever with 4% unemployment and federal budget surplusses. The GOP slashed taxes for the wealthy ...the wealthiest 1% got 40% of the nation's wealth, and the economy tanked. This actually happened twice: Our current Great Recession and the Great Depression 80 years ago.

A sales tax would skew the Tax System even further in favor of the very rich. What's the matter with the top 2%? - owning 55% of the nation's wealth not enough? Even Herman Caine had to drop the idea in the face of that economic reality.

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

"the best decade ever" that created the great divide between the 1% and the 99%

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

In 1993 under President Clinton, taxes on upper incomes were increased. Many Republican congressmen predicted this would lead to a recession, "kill jobs," and so increase the federal deficit. There are many influences on the economy. That said, this tax increase on the rich was followed by: the US's longest peacetime economic expansion (avg. GDP growth 3.6% 1993-00), the creation of 23 million new jobs in eight years, an increase in the median household income by $6000 over eight years, high tax revenue, elimination of the federal deficit, and the first surpluses in 40 years and low inflation.

[-] -1 points by libertarianincle (312) from Cleveland, OH 2 years ago

You obviously don't know economics...that "best decade ever" came in form of RECORD LOW interest rates and the fed pumping money into the economy which led to mal-investment in unsustainable internet companies.Once that bubble burst the onerous taxes WERE killing jobs.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I also know economics!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I know how to read a graph though. During the 1990's 30 year treasuries ranged between 6 and 8%, fairly moderate so that doesn't explain the best economic decade ever. In comparison during the 2000's those rates were 4-6%, quite low. If low interest rates is all it takes to create a great economy, why do we have the worst economy in 80 years? The answer is: a economy distorting tax system and the greed of many ultra-wealthy people.

[-] 1 points by libertarianincle (312) from Cleveland, OH 2 years ago

You sure you know how to read a graph?

http://www.the-privateer.com/rates.html.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yep, I do. Your link is a dead one. Here's one that works: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5ETYX&t=my&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Strategic income tax reform at the federal level will actually reduce the net tax burden you'll have to worry about, which means that you'll have an easier time getting to the top of the heap. Also, chew on this: for you to create a business that can make it to the top you have to sell a product to people. This means that people have to buy your product. If there's a big fat tax on spending your money and no taxes on saving it or investing it or gambling with it, then people will by a lot less stuff and think a lot more carefully before they open their wallet to you. This means almost no impulse buys of your product, and far fewer sales in general. Fewer sales = less profit= a harder road to the top for the little guy. In effect, any flat sales/commerce/consumption tax comes out of the small businessman's pocket 90% of the time through reduced consumption.

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

Your assuming it would be a big fat tax, if applied evenly to all forms of commerce it would be less then most current sales taxes.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Even if it's a 2% tax, if I have to spend an extra 2% on everything I buy (particularly if it's a big-ticket item like a new refrigerator or a new washing machine) I'm still going to avoid it by spending as little money as I can, and moving as much of my income as I can into interest-generating accounts, either via a traditional bank account or via putting it into Wall Street. This means that those with disposable income are far more likely to squirrel it away than to spend it and most non-necessity businesses depend on disposable income. Why, may I ask, do you object to a graduated income tax (corporate and individual) when if applied properly it will most likely lower your net tax bill? See my reply to Perspective for why I say that will happen.

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

Look back over the past 100 years or so since income tax was introduced and what do you see. One politician after another tampering with the rates to appeal to their constituents. By mandating a uniform tax, such as a sales or commerce tax, politicians will still fight to keep this tax down for their constituents, but they will be serving us all. Keep in mind things that are not taxed today, such as a home or stocks will also be taxed under this system. Your tax rate is likely to be less then 1%. If your going to fix it make it lasting and tamper proof. KISS so that you don't need a degree in economics to know when your getting screwed.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The Fair Share Tax reform is so simple it can be described in a few sentances. Everyon would pay content in the knowledge that they and everyone else is paying their fair share. See the plan...

http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

This will never stand. Do you really think the people in Iowa will enjoy seeing the majority of their tax dollar going to New York or California. We have this same type of divide right here in the State of New York (Upstate/ Downstate) and it has been a source of contempt for many citizens. You must first address the Federal government and allow the local citizens to address their local governments.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

In what way would the Fair Share Tax Plan divert tax money from Iowa to the Coasts? Answer: None.

I think you are fabricating straw-men because the plan is clearly gaining momentum because nearly everyone will see that the plan is so fair, simple, and transparent.

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

Eliminating State, Local, Property taxes, Bridge tolls, etc and enacting a sole Federal Tax.

Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Read it - It does not do that. Here's a quote:

"Fund state and municipal governments through a surcharge on each household’s combined Federal Income and Net-worth Tax (excluding any War Tax), with the surcharge rate set by each state and municipality. For efficiency's sake the federal government could collect the taxes and pass them directly (under law, free of any conditions) to states and municipalities."

http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

My local school district wishes to build a new school to accommodate a population increase. Lets see just how the bureaucracy works.

[-] 1 points by Declaratorian (14) 2 years ago

No I do get it. Better than you in fact. I have been working with and for government for over 20 years. This simple plan will create more bureaucracy than you can imagine. Not to mention that it is being pushed by a liberal agenda. Not what most would consider the 99%. You can praise this plan all you want but without listening to others you only limit it's support.

[-] 0 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I wonder if you're deliberately claiming to not understand. The website couldn't be more clear. Your town gets the tax money it decides it wants from its residents. It's just that for efficiency's sake, the money is collected by the federal tax authorities and automatically passed to the town (without conditions under law). Your town sets the surcharge rate (a percent of your combined federal income and networth taxes). Your town decides how to spend the tax money. The feds just do the collection to save taxpayers from having to write multiple checks and to allow the town hall to lay off about one-third of its staff.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by ab1 (5) 2 years ago

Taxes aren't really the problem. The problem is company profits, they make way too much instead of paying their workers what they should. Just look how companies treated their employees back in the 1900's. That is why unions started, people went on strike and the government started making so many regulations. That is why companies moved manufacturing overseas, cheap labor and less government regulation.
Corporate greed is the problem. It's time for companies to share the profits with the workers, less profit for the investors and more for the workers. The workers will spend the money buying things. Let's pick one company to put out of business. Pick one company whos product we will not buy for a year. Hit them where it hurts.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Corporate greed is certainly a problem. And they are allowed to buy too much influence in government - so government aids them rather than checks

But you are simply wrong about taxes. Taxes have paid a huge role in income and wealth inequality in the US. How could you conclude otherwise if you read my post. Would a middle class families be better off if their total tax rates were more like Warren Buffett's? Yeah a family making $70,000 would be able to keep $20,000 more of it after taxes. Save for college, retirement, spend, stay out of debt, pay their mortgage....

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

In 1985, in "The Law That Never Was," William J. Benson and Martin J. Beckman argued that the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified. Congress and the Supreme Court have since repeatedly rejected this argument as false; additionally they found that Benson's sale of his research based argument, in the form of a "Reliance Defense Package," constituted fraud.

Be that as it may, there is little doubt that an apportioned tax without consent violates the very premise of a freedom acquired through revolution. Because taxes, as argued by our forefathers, constitute "slavery," which Lincoln defined with these words: "You work, and I'll eat."

Contrary to popular belief, the Rev was not fought over the issue of taxes per se but rather over the issue of taxes in light of corruption: James the First, just as one brief example, had a mistress that was receiving a stipend of 60,000 pounds a month. Incredible, right? And that's just one example of a long list of many.

If you are a person of average means, today, it is very easy to compute the yearly percentage of income that is levied as tax. We simply take total income, subtract savings, and begin deducting all expenses... what we are left with is the disposable income that we have actually spent, and from that we can determine sales tax.

In New York, the total tax for a person of average means falls into the 35 - 45 % bracket and it continually rises. And for this, we receive very little from government, if anything at all. The tax levy, today, is construed as almost entirely of corruption in the form of special interests, very few of which would pass the test of consensus as aligning with the sentiment of a majority populace.

"Raise the taxes" is the cry this Democrat administration. And it was the cry of our last administration.

What we need in this country is a tax revolution. Because taxation without our express consent is Un-American.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I'm afraid the horse is out of the barn on the income tax. I think income and wealth (net worth) are the 2 best measures of how a household has profited from the economic infrastructure governments provide (public education, national security, roads, basic research etc.) and so should be the basis for all taxes (except for a little excise tax on activities that should be discouraged and do not have their costs reflected in their price).

My tax plan does away with all other taxes at all levels of government (sales taxes, real estate taxes (except to the extent real estate is part of total net worth). See the plan and let me know what you think: http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 0 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

WOW They taxing Social Security what country

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Don't follow you. Please say again.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

They Tax retired people on there income which is social security

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Who do you mean by "they"?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Generally SS benefits are not taxes unless you have substantial other income in addition to social security.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

the 1%

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

The U.S. has the highest corporate rate of any nation (yes even higher than the EU states). I support the idea of raising it higher, but to act as if the U.S. is not taking money is not true. We tax the corporations "harder" than any other nation on the planet.

When President Clinton increased taxes on the wealthy, the GOP predicted recessions and unemployment. Instead we had the best economic decade of the century.

Until it crashed in late 1999 and 2000 (Clinton's last two years in office).

Ooops.

Also it's a myth that Clinton has a balanced budget. The Treasury's debt increased every year he was in office. It's true it only increased by 0.3 trillion in 1999, but it was still an increase.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Who's spreading myths? We tax the corporations "harder" than any other nation on the planet. MANY COMPANIES PAY NO INCOME TAXES, STUDY FINDS

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The corporate tax rate is 35%. But an examination of 280 of the nation's largest corporations suggests that many aren't paying anything close to that.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/03/news/economy/corporate_taxes/index.htm

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The effective average corporate tax rate is 23% of profits after they take all their deductions and adjustments. And the percent is much smaller if you look at actual profits and profits that are sent offshore.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Update: New data out. The effective tax rate for corporations on "taxable profits" is now 21%. The top 400 households with the highest incomes in the country pay a federal tax rate that is 18% of income (would be even lower if unrealized capital gains were taxed). These are way down over the last 15 years. So-called "job-creators" have the lowest taxes in 80 years. Where are the jobs?

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Job creators sit on trillions, claiming economic uncertainty.

Where are the jobs?

I call bullshit on the job creator mythology, perpetuated by Fox News, talk radio, and everybody republican. The only thing they care about is getting the 'socialist' president out of office by any means necessary so they can keep their taxes from being raised and redistributed more fairly. They hate the income equality 'socialist' so much, they will even stoop to holding the entire American economy hostage in order to get their way.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The truth is the tax cuts for the wealthy are the GOP's failed stimulus package - and cost the Treasury 10 times more than President Obama's stimulus (that saved 2 million jobs, per the CBO, and probably saved us from sliding into a Depression).

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Yeah with deductions the corporations only pay (on average) about half the tax rate... around 15%.

How much do corporations pay over in the E.U.?

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

On October 24, University of Michigan law professor Reuven Avi-Yonah and Ben Gurion University economist Yaron Lahav published a study examining the corporate tax burden on the 100 largest companies based in the U.S. and the European Union. The data come from publicly available financial reports issued by the companies. The study found that while the statutory tax rate is about 10 percentage points higher in the U.S., the effective tax rate paid by U.S. and European companies is about the same because European companies get fewer tax preferences.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Interesting, but only based on the 100 largest companies, That's a less-than-1% skewed sample.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

the effective tax rate paid by U.S. and European companies is about the same

So Occupy wants to raise the rates, and thereby encourage corporations to leave the US and move to the EU. Which will leave us citizens jobless.

Hmmm.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

There is no official spokesman for Occupy. I have seen the polls that 2/3 of Americans favor taxing the wealthy. If we eliminate the tax rate as the focal point, where do we look next for solutions to improve our country, both economically and socially?

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

No but I've seen OWS videos where almost every protester said he or she wants the taxrate raised to 90% (like the 1950s). That's a bit nuts.

  • I'd be okay with raising the effective taxrate from 32% (now) to 38% (as it was in the 70s). That would increase revenues while not scaring-off companies. (I hope.)

BTW our country lost ~60,000 manufacturing facilities since 2000. Not good for people seeking jobs.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

If there ever was such a video - it was edited together to fool you.

But let's go over my proposal instead: Federal Tax rates range form 18-24% and the only exemptions or deductions are the amount of a living wage (e.g. $30,000 for a family of three, out of pocket medical expenses exceeding 10% of income, and limited additions to an tax-free eucation+retirement account.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Aveng writes: "the taxrate raised to 90% (like the 1950s)"

The maximum corporate tax rate in the 50's (and ever) was 52% and I'd bet the effective tax rate was much lower, after adjustments subsidies etc.

See this: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/us-tax-rates-1916-2010/

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Frustrations are high.

Reasonable solution (I hope)

Sucks for me. I'm terrible at customer service.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

I worked 10 years in retail and loved it.

But the pay was only 1/7th as much as I now make with engineering. Sadly the engineering jobs are also being shipped to India (they work for about $10 an hour).

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I gather you're not wanting to conform to the current track we are on. But what I'm not sure of is whether you favor reform or transform.

If reform - besides the tax code, what other areas need to be reformed and how would it make America better for all.

If transform - do you see any validity in adopting any system other than capitalism.

and finally, do you believe we have capitalism or oligarchy in place today, or maybe a combination of the two.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Re corporate taxes. The maximum rates in the statutes are high but the deductions and the legal and illegal gaming of the tax, means that in the end most corporations pay rates much, much lower. GE, one of the biggest corporations with huge profits, for example paid 0%.

My proposal actually does away with the corporate tax. 70% of the the honestly calculated profits are distributed to owners/shareholders who are taxed on them at the same rates as workers pay on their wages. This does away with about 6 problems with the current tax.

see http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Read your history please. Yep the economy crashed because of a stock bubble that was caused by a massive cuts to taxes on investment (such that it suddenly went to half that paid by a worker on his wages) pushed through by the GOP in 1997. My proposal undoes all those. It's all covered at http://fairsharetaxes.org/Talkingpoints.aspx - halfway down the page near Clinton's photo.

There were surpluses projected by every economist until Bush wiped them out for tax cuts on the rich.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

I like your tax idea to eliminate corporate taxes and just tax the owners/shareholders directly. It makes sense.

re: 1999 crash. I was under the impression the economy crashed in late 1999 and into 2000, because of the Dot-com bubble bursting. It really didn't have much to do with taxation, but was caused by people investing irrationally (businesses without any profit).

re: The Debt. All you need to do is look at the numbers. There is no year during Clinton's presidency that is dropped, because there was never any surplus. The debt climbed every year Clinton was president.

As for Bush..... yeah he sucked. I'm happy to say I never voted for him. (I'm also happy to say I never voted for Clinton or Obama either.)

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

What do you think caused the bubble? The massive tax cuts were put in place to "encourage investment." When the demand for investment outstrips the supply of worthy investments, investment prices rise unsustainably (I learned this the first week of econ 101). That's the definition of a investment bubble.

Of course all this is in my original post. Did you even read it before commenting?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

See this conservative website: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1900_2016USp_XXs1li111mcn_G0f. It admits the federal deficit went down every year under Clinton and turned into surpluses in 1998 and 1999, the last two years of his second term. These numbers are disputed by no-one.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Look here at Clinton's years. The treasury's debt went UP every single year. There was never a surplus:

FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692 trillion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973 trillion

FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224 trillion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413 trillion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526 trillion (no surplus)

FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656 trillion (no surplus)

FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674 trillion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807 trillion

.

1998 and 1999, the last two years of his second term

Wow.

I mean, really, wow. :-o

Clinton's last year was 2000 not 99

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

According to the GOP, taxes were cut on investment gains to encourage investment. That's exactly what it did. Demand for investments outstripped worthy investments. By supply and demand (taught in the first week of Econ 101) this bids up investment prices ... to unsustainable levels...bubble... burst ... recession. It's all explained in more detail at the site: http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No reply on the surpluses. Perhaps you were think about the national debt. A "surplus" means in one year the govt takes in more than it spends (doing the opposite is a "deficit"). When there is a surplus the national debt (accumulated over many years from past deficits is reduced by the amount of that suplus.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Here's the numbers in $billions: Note the huge deficit numbersunder Reagn and Bush 1981-1992 (even larger if you figure their deficits as a % of GDP)

year GDP deficits (surpluses are negative numbers)

1980 2788.1 73.83 a

1981 3126.8 78.97 a

1982 3253.2 127.98 a

1983 3534.6 207.80 a

1984 3930.9 185.37 a

1985 4217.5 212.31 a

1986 4460.1 221.23 a

1987 4736.4 149.73 a

1988 5100.4 155.18 a

1989 5482.1 152.64 a

1990 5800.5 221.03 a

1991 5992.1 269.24 a

1992 6342.3 290.32 a

1993 6667.4 255.05 a

1994 7085.2 203.18 a

1995 7414.7 163.95 a

1996 7838.5 107.43 a

1997 8270.46 21.89 a

1998 8727.02 -69.27 a

1999 9286.86 -125.61 a

2000 9884.17 -236.24 a

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

AND HERE'S THE ACTUAL DEBT FROM THE TREASURY'S Dot-Gov WEBSITE

FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656 trillion (debt went UP)

FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674 trillion (debt went UP)

FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807 trillion (debt went UP)

If there had been a surplus in 1999 as you claim, then the debt would have gone down after that year.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Oh- You are using that special accounting where Social Security income and outlays are not considered part of the federal budget. (If that's the case, why consider touching Social Security as part of deficit reduction?) This was in fact a new accounting maneuver used by the GOP when they were so embarrassed by Clinton bringing in the first surpluses in 30 years - and if I'm correct Republicans were in office for 26 of those 30 years of deficits.

Further, during Clinton's 8 years the actual national debt (not the GOP generated smoke and mirrors) went up less than 0.3% of GDP. For Reagan's 8 years - it went up 26% of GDP. - that's about a 100-fold faster rise in debt, compared to Clinton.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

You are using that special accounting

Me?

I am not doing anything. I am quoting the U.S. Treasury's website. And your attempt to "spin" things to blame republicans for flaky numbers is ridiculous. The numbers come from the DEMOCRAT-controlled Treasury Department.

The Democrat numbers clearly show there was Never any debt reduction since the 1950s.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes - no doubt Treasury has list of the federal debt excluding Social Security. Yet the actual national debt includes Social Security, because the last I looked it's a federal program.

And again - during Clinton's 8 years the actual national debt (including Social Security) went up less than 0.3% of GDP. For Reagan's 8 years - it went up 26% of GDP. - that's about a 100-fold faster rise in debt, compared to Clinton.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

no doubt Treasury has list of the federal debt excluding Social Security

Wrong.

That would be illegal.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

They have lists both excluding and including Social Security. It is not illegal. I'm afraid you are starting to sputter on side issues and seem to be unable to come to address the fact that a minimum wage worker pays total taxes of 30-37% of her $15,000 annual wages, while someone like warren Buffett pays 11% on a 8 billion dollar investment gain. Its not fair, its ruinging our economy and our democracy.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

AND I quoted the national debt that includes SSI (because that's the only info the dot-gov website provides). There was NEVER a surplus. Clinton lied. Just like he lied when he claimed to put 100,000 more cops on the streets. (In reality, almost all of that money went to "cop equivalents" like buying ~90,000 new computers.)

30-37% of her $15,000 annual wages

B.S.

When I was earning that much, I paid zero income tax. Your claim is BS. Also you cite Buffett, but the truth is he owes billions of dollars to the IRS and he refuses pay. He's a bit of a hypocrite. I'd call him a tax dodger.

As for the top 1%: Their effective tax rate (what they pay after deductions) is currently 32%. It was as high as 38% back in the 1970s, and 34% in the 50s. I agree it should probably be higher but I don't agree with the OWS of making it 90%. That would drive the rich over to China or India or Europe... anyplace that has lower rates.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

And again - during Clinton's 8 years the actual national debt (including Social Security) went up less than 0.3% of GDP. For Reagan's 8 years - it went up 26% of GDP. - that's about a 100-fold faster rise in debt, compared to Clinton.

Just goes to show what can happen when there is a more reasonable tax system in which the wealthy pay closer to their fair share and pay the similar rates on investment gains that workers pay on wages. The economy flourished and there were budget surpluses. The GOP claimed when Clinton pushed through the tax increases on the wealthy, it would "kill jobs." Found familiar? Instead the economy grew at rates more that 2-fold higher than the rates Bush II got with massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

The post is about taxes. Try to avoid tirades about side issues please.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

If you're going to comment "BS" you need to go to this page at my website and tell me exactly which numbers you dispute. Remember I include all taxes at every level of government. It's been posted for a year and no-one has been able to find an error. Here's the page: http://fairsharetaxes.org/Fourtaxpayersdata.aspx

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

Sure.

Right after you stop making the claim the the Treasury is lying about the debt numbers.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

And again - during Clinton's 8 years the actual national debt (including Social Security) went up less than 0.3% of GDP. For Reagan's 8 years - it went up 26% of GDP. - that's about a 100-fold faster rise in debt, compared to Clinton.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

For post below: Do you know the difference between "consenting adults" and "innocent children."

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

That's nice. I dont give a damn abotu reagan, so why the HEL:L do you keep bringing him up?

I'm more concerend with our last 3 lousy presidents. Clinton the sex molester (reminds me of that dude from Penn State), Goerge "duh" Bush the warmonger, and Obama the corporatist/warmonger.

During Obama's years the debt went-up 1.5 trillion a year..... three times faster than any other president. He's also pushing to pass the SOPA bill to censor the internet. (Yank any website they don't like... like this one.)

And you voted for him

Now THAT was dumb.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You are confused about the words "debt," "deficit," and surplus. There is no question as to the definition of the words. Look them up. If the government (or a business or a family) spends more than it takes in over year, it has a deficit. If it takes in more than it spends over a year, than it has a surplus. [This is what Clinton accomplished in 1998, 1999, and 2000 (you're right, it was his last year) for the first time since 1969.] When there is a surplus, it reduces the debt (the total owed over all the years going back. If there is a deficit it increases the debt by that amount.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

"debt," "deficit," and surplus.

No I'm not that dumb. As YOU said in your own words, "When there is a surplus the national debt... is reduced by the amount of that suplus." Well there was NO surplus during the Clinton years, so the debt was never reduced.

FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413 trillion

FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526 trillion (debt went UP)

FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656 trillion (debt went UP)

FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674 trillion (debt went UP)

FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807 trillion (debt went UP)

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

When there is a surplus the national debt (accumulated over many years from past deficits) is reduced by the amount of that suplus.

Exactly my point.

The national debt was never reduced. Not even for one year. Look at my other post.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Oh- You are using that special accounting where Social Security income and outlays are not considered part of the federal budget. (If that's the case, why consider touching Social Security as part of deficit reduction.) This was in fact a new accounting maneuver used by the GOP when they were so embarrassed by Clinton bringing in the first surpluses in 30 years - and if I'm correct Republicans were in office for 26 of those 30 years of deficits.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Further, during Clinton's 8 years the actual national debt (not the GOP- generated smoke and mirrors) went up less than 0.3% of GDP. For Reagan's 8 years - it went up 26% of GDP. - that's about a 100-fold difference.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 2 years ago

You are using that special accounting

Me?

I am not doing anything. I am quoting the U.S. Treasury's website. And your attempt to "spin" things to blame republicans for flaky numbers is ridiculous. The numbers come from the DEMOCRAT-controlled Treasury Department. The Democrat numbers clearly show there was Never any debt reduction since the 1950s.

BTW your current love Obama is driving the debt up by almost 1.5 trillion a year. Congrats. I hope that's the "change" you were looking for. As far as I am concerned he is as big a warmonger & douche as George "duh" Bush was.

Democrats suck Republican suck WAKE UP.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Great link!

[-] 0 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

No Pete it is much more then just taxes. Higher taxes will not solve teh problem. It will give you a nation of hand out happy people.

The basis of the problem is the laws that have enabled and perpetuated the problem. If you look at the fall of the exchange in 1929, its cause and the reaction by the government you will find most of the problem. In 1929 only ~10% of all businesses were public and the remainder was private. ~2% of the population were involved in trading stocks and most of the individuals we very heavily leveraged (They bought on credit).

Next the market dropped, individuals lost their ability to pay off their margin accounts and wiped out the capital overnight in the banking system, Couple that with the hysteria of the people running on the banks to get there gold out and you have a recipe for disaster.

For most they were not initially affected by the falls of the exchange in 1929 but when banks failed they felt it. Businesses lost credit to operate, accounts were wiped out and small private business failed. No fault of their own but the fault of the overzealous banks. Individuals found there savings wiped out alongside the private businesses and the world plunged into the abyss.

The reaction to this was FDR and the 1933 securities act and the 1934 securities and exchange act. What these two pieces of legislation did was strip the ability of the small private business (who did not cause the market collapse) to raise capital in a traditional form, Bonds. Direct investment was for many years the mainstay of the entrepreneur. It put the restrictions on who could invest (Qualified institutional investor) and how the investments could be sold. It stripped the ability of the individual to invest and make the high returns they became accustomed to and placed all of it into the hands of the very few 1%.

Today if you are a business owner there is a glass ceiling of about $3 million dollars where a business could potentially get debt to expand, retool, or modernize. The Wall Street and Banks prefer an Equity offering. How often do small business owners sell the majority share of the company they own under a public offering or private sale (sale to high net worth’s) to raise the capital they need. The horror stories of this arrangement are very clear. They give up control, get voted out of the company and the new share holders shut them down move the product manufacture to China to maximize the return to the High Net Worth investor (new owner).

The laws perpetuate the problem. Now remove the Glass-Steagall Act and it becomes a high net worth orgy.

Focus, access the laws, and fix the system that perpetuates the behavior.

FIX THE LAWS

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Funny every serious person who has looked at this - including Republicans on the deficit committees - says the solution is more taxes and reduced spending. Do you want to increase taxes on the minimum wage worker - already paying 37% in all taxes (fed, state, local)?

In fact, my plan includes a 7% increase in total tax revenue and 16% in spending cuts: 2 for 1. Of course, my tax increase is from the wealthy (who tripled their inflation-adjusted after-tax income since P. Reagan started cutting their taxes) , because unlike you, I know that the majority of the poor are hardworking and most of those taking what you call "handouts" are disabled.

[-] 0 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

Taxes do not create jobs. The lack of investment small private business has stifled our economy. Business should not be looked at as a person but as an extension of a person.

Most small business owners make more then $250,000, but if they were to pay higher taxes it would come directly out of the business and would limit what they could do.

Noone has ever proposed a way to delineate between the small business owner, the High Net Worth individual and the publicly traded debauchery. You plan will only damage small business farther. 80% of the employers are small business. Figure it out

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

There's just too much wrong with your last post. I'll take one point at a time. My replies are in ( )

Taxes do not create jobs. (Incorrect-many do) The lack of investment small private business has stifled our economy (Those making over $250,000 have had reduces tax rates for 8 years- Where are the jobs?). Business should not be looked at as a person but as an extension of a person (under my plan they get a small break in taxes over wage earners-it increases the more people they employ).

Most small business owners make more then $250,000, but if they were to pay higher taxes it would come directly out of the business and would limit what they could do. (according to IRS statistics for 2007, less than 5% of small business returns had an income of over $200,000. Are you just making this stuff up?)

Noone has ever proposed a way to delineate between the small business owner, the High Net Worth individual and the publicly traded debauchery. (I have. Read the proposal-http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx) You plan will only damage small business farther. 80% of the employers are small business. (Perhaps but relevant statistic is that 50% of employees are employed by small businesses - an may plan reduces the total taxes of about 95% of those employees significantly - although their toatl tax rates would still be higher than what Warren Buffett is paying now) Figure it out (Thanks I have)

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Here's the only question that needs to be asked: is there anything these 1%ers are doing to directly affect your personal prosperity? Anything you are being forced to do or not do by them that affects your ability to live in the manner in which you'd like? I don't think taxes on the poor and middle class are onerous, but I am all for reducing them if possible, with corresponding spending cuts as well so that we do not go into more debt. It's the spending which has gotten completely out of control over the last 10 years. I'd say 35% is a solid "fair share" to be paid by the rich, considering there are many at 0%. We will not cure all of society's ills by spending more money, look at the war on poverty, on drugs, on other countries.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

My proposal pretty much does that. Except as every commission (all with Dem and Reps on them came up with) unless you want to slash social security and medicare and the military there needs to be a combination of increased taxes and pending cuts.

I propose cutting working poor and middle-class taxes, getting the wealthy to pay total tax rates something like the rates the middle-class and working poor are now paying. In all it increases taxes about 7%

I propose at the site spending cuts of about 16%

The result is budget surpluses in about 3 years and paying off the national debt completely over about 30 years.

see http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by Fedup10 (228) 2 years ago

The reason the wealthy have outpaced the workers and middleclass is not due to relative tax burdens. Its productivity and globalization. Jobs have moved overseas, automation has reduced work forces. Healthcare costs have made companies take out costs, including labor, to remain competitive. The world has changed and our policies from Washington have not. Following europes hopeless policies of tax tax tax anspd endless social programs is a failed policy. If we do not adapt the new economic powers will be china and Russia.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yes, productivity and globalization (as well as the demonisation of unions, the glorification of greed, the ability to buy politicians through our campaign finance system) have contributed to economic disparity. All should be addressed. However, it is clear that taxing a minimum wage worker at 3-fold greater tax rates than billionaires pay must be contributing massively to the growing wealth disparity in this country.

[-] 0 points by Fedup10 (228) 2 years ago

The speed of today's economy is enabling wealth creation at a rate never seen before. Moscow has more billionaires than NYC. Russia has a 15 percent flat tax, not a progressive tax. China is a planned capitalistic society what is growing it's middle class at an amazing rate. Tax reform is needed, but it must be a thoughtful process devoid of politics and lobbyists. Therein is our problem.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

My plan is a the result of a thoughtful process devoid of politics and lobbyists. The guiding principle is that taxes should be proportional to the extent a household has profited from the economic infrastructure that the government (all taxpayers) provide. I have posted my ideas for 2 years now and amended my proposal after scores of discussions with folks responding to the site.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by Fedup10 (228) 2 years ago

Well it is a very US view, as if we will remain an economic power. What do you say when the next Warren Buffet is a Russian or Chinese citizen. They buy up companies here in the US, and pay personal taxes in their home country. They fire US workers to create profits and wealth. This is where we are headed. We have to look at our tax policies thru the global lens of competition and the movement of capital. It is not only a US fairness issue that you are focused upon. We have to compare our tax burdens to the other major economic countries to ensure competitiveness.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I think my plan makes the US very competative globally. I end corporate taxes (now half are ultimately paid by worker's & consumers). Foreign owners of companies (whether US or foreign) are taxed at 20% of US profits (average of % sales from the US and % employees in the US)

See half-way down this page: http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 0 points by Fedup10 (228) 2 years ago

Ok, I agree with that. How do you tax employees and self employed?

[-] 0 points by Fedup10 (228) 2 years ago

I went to your website. I see your thinking and it's very fresh thinking and not polarizing. I hope it gets full consideration.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Thanks. If you would to do some things to see that the ideas at the site get full consideration, please doing some of the things suggested on this page at the site:

http://fairsharetaxes.org/Spredthetaxreformword.aspx

[-] 0 points by GeorgeMichaelBluth (402) from Arlington, VA 2 years ago

Taxation does not direct wealth. You're a step behind.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Say again. I don't get your meaning.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] -1 points by Pimpson (-60) 2 years ago

The bottom 50% (well, 47%) also don't pay taxes...

[-] -1 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 2 years ago

When I was making minimum wage I received more money from the federal government than I paid in. When I was making double the amount of minimum wage, I received more money from the federal government than I paid in. Statistics are purposefully skewed to prove a point.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Sorry, you are wrong they are not skewed. It's a simple single worker. Her taxes are 37% of her minimum wage income. The figures have been posted for 2 years and in over 40,000 visits to my website no-one had successfully disputed them. Perhaps your situation was different. If you are working poor with alot of kids, it's possible you got money from the Earned income tax credit - which was, by the way, a Republican invention. OR pehaps you are just out there trolling.

[-] -1 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 2 years ago

I received $457 from EIC. You choose to point out individual cases instead of a general consensus, which leads me to believe you found the worst case possible to skew.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No reply? You convinced?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I chose the most common case there is: Among those making minimum wage this year, the majority are single without a kid. Do their 1040 - they pay about $600 in taxes and do not qualify for the EIC. Add in all Social Security taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, and property taxes passed along to her as a renter and you get about $5000 out of a $15000 annual salary - more than a 30% tax rate. It's not a worst case senerio. It's the actual facts for millions of working poor. See the spreadsheet at; http://fairsharetaxes.org/Fourtaxpayersdata.aspx

[-] -1 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 2 years ago

Yet I live in a rural community and hear none of this. The urbanization of our culture is the root cause of all this greed.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Looks like your community changed over the past few days from Queens NY to West Virginia. Hope the move went smoothly.

[-] 0 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 2 years ago

I never initially set my location, then it got questioned. So I changed it! :)

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I don't understand. You say: You hear none of this? You just heard it from me. It's indisputably true. Doesn't it bother you that poor workers pay total tax rates (fed, state, local) over 30% while wealthy investors pay half that rate, even though they profit much more from the services governments provide.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Doesn't it bother you that that system of taxes caused our last 2 recessions, all that unemployment, people (even in rural places) losing their homes, losing their retirements, losing their kid's college funds. Doesn't it bother you that there is no longer social mobility, that minds are being wasted and that this spells doom for your nation?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Doesn't it bother you that all that concentrated wealth - the top 1% now hold 40% of the nation's wealth while the bottom half holds only 1% - means that the wealthy have all the power - and use it to grab even more wealth by rigging the tax system further.

[-] -1 points by l31sh0p (279) from Sand Fork, WV 2 years ago

When you say 'pay', do you mean that the government takes the money out of your paycheck temporarily? Because that's what they do.

When this movement started everyone was spewing numbers of 'the top 1% hold 35% and the bottom 50% hold 30%. Now it's 40 and 1.

The wealthy don't make up the tax laws, the government does. Politicians don't HAVE to take corporate bribes... but they do. Don't be mad at big money, be mad at the people it corrupted in Washington.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I think you are confusing numbers for income with numbers for wealth. They are 2 very different things. I quoted the numbers for wealth.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

How come you say you're in a rural community but list yourself as from Queens NY?

I don't understand your point about taking money out of pockets temporarily.

I think the wealthy people who make the bribes and politicians who take the bribes are equally immoral, equally greedy, and equally responsible for the suffering in this country, and for the downfall of this country.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

What a crock

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Still have not heard from you. Seems you can't back up your criticism.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

I don't explain myself to morons, obviously you do

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Name-calling is the last defense of someone who has lost an argument. Thanks for conceding that you were wrong.

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

It was such a tough argument, all those valid points you made from your knowledge reduced me to calling you names. No you just are too stupid to discuss anything with, just like I don't try to sway my cat's view on the world I will not bother with you.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Again, thanks for conceding I am completely correct. I am disappointed, though, that you could not come up with one single counter-argument. My proposal has improved a good deal by the input of both supporters and critics.

'Cha, Pete http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

OK you put together a spreadsheet like the one at this link and show me your numbers.

http://fairsharetaxes.org/Fourtaxpayersdata.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I see you have not accepted my challenge.

[-] -1 points by tsizzle (73) from De Pere, WI 2 years ago

then we all need to strive to get into that top 50%...the bottom 50% looks pretty shitty to me.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

That's really pretty dismissive of alot human suffering. Folks working 2 minimum-wage jobs, getting nowhere because of tax rates 3 times higher than that of billionaires, not able to send their kids to college, stuck in a cycle of poverty. While the very rich buy elections and lower their tax rates further (see Caine, See Perry). Bad for the economy and the chances of our country remaining a force for good of in the world.

WHAT DID OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS WORK AND FIGHT FOR?

FOR A GREAT NATION AND BETTER FUTURE FOR US ALL? … OR …

FOR THE RIGHT OF TOP 2% TO ACCUMULATE OBSCENE WEALTH AT THE EXPENSE OF THE REST OF US?

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] -1 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

"investment income and gains" is the key phrase. WE ALL ARE TAXED AT THE SAME RATE FOR INVESTMENT INCOME. As for regular income he pays a higher rate then all of us but there is a cap to certain portions like social security. Dont perpetuate the LIES

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You are quoting fragments of sentences. Once again. All Buffett's taxes together (including his share of Berkshire Hathaway's corporate taxes) add up to 11% of his income and investment gains. Go to the site and check my math. It's all on a spreadsheet there.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] -1 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

Capital Gains

The other likely source of Mr. Buffett’s low tax rate is long-term capital gains, which are also taxed at 15%. The first item of business is to ask, “are capital gains really income?” If you bought an asset 40 years ago for $100 and sold it today for $120, have you made money? In a nominal sense you have a twenty dollar profit, but in a real sense, you have suffered a loss. Your purchasing power has been reduced. The $120 today will buy far less in goods and services than $100 did 40 years ago. In order to determine the true amount of real income when a capital asset is sold, it would be necessary to index the purchase price for the inflation that occurred between the date of purchase and sale. The lack of inflation indexing is one argument for a lower rate of tax on long-term capital gains, but it is not entirely satisfactory. In Mr. Buffett’s op-ed piece, he points out the extreme counter-example of someone who owns stock index futures for ten minutes. Sixty percent of their gain will be taxed at the 15% long-term capital gains rates. Obviously, the lower capital gains rate as a substitute for inflation indexing cannot be applied to that case. Another argument in favor of lower capital gains rates is that it encourages investment of risk capital. The question is, “how much less investment would take place if capital gains were taxed as ordinary income?”

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

None other than Abraham Lincoln, famous Republican President said, “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The answer to your last question is found in history. From 1987-2003 capital gains were taxed at the same rate or nearly the same rate as wages. What followed? The longest economic expansion we've ever had we ever had, everyone prospered. Tilting the tax playing field toward investors acutally hurts the economy.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

How does too much investment hurt the economy? It cuts consumption. Consumption and investment need to be balanced. Too many investment dollars chase too few worthy investments (especially if no-one is consuming), triggering unsustainable bubbles and therefore recessions.

[-] -1 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

The Government does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. Excessive social programs can bankrupt a county. I do not believe in hand outs, I enjoy working for what I have. If we cut out the excessive spending, correct the inequity in the laws and regulations then the cournty is on track.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

By far most of the handouts are going to the wealthy, hospitals, doctors and military contractors. The GOP tax cuts targeted for the wealthy over the past 30 years were supposed to stimulate the economy. Is our economy that good right now? Those cuts are the real failed stimulus .. and created 10 times more national debt that Obama's stimulus.

[-] -1 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

Corporate income tax burden

Corporations write the checks for the corporate income tax. But remember, corporations are legal fictions. They are not real. Ultimately, it is real people who incur the cost of corporate income tax. It is not entirely clear to what extent shareholders, labor, and consumers share the burden of the corporate income tax in the form of lower profits, lower wages, or higher prices. Even if it could be determined, it would vary from corporation to corporation and year to year. Putting aside this difficult theoretical calculation in favor of the obvious practical answer, the corporate income tax is paid on corporate profit which can then be distributed to shareholders.

Back to dividends

The argument in favor of the lower rate on dividends is not simply the unfairness of double taxation. Taxation of dividends as ordinary income affects the capital structure of companies. Dividend payments are not deductible to a corporation. Interest payments are deductible. This creates a tax incentive for corporations to raise money through issuing debt rather than equity. The consequence of this is to distort the capital structure and leverage the balance sheet. The lower rate on dividends reduces that incentive. In addition to fairness and distortion, there is another benefit to lower tax rates on dividends. Dividends are optional. If tax rates on dividends are higher, companies will pay less in dividends. If tax rates are lower, more dividends will be paid. Look at Warren Buffett’s good friend Bill Gates. He never received a dividend from Microsoft until 2003, the year that the dividend tax rates were lowered to 15%. Microsoft has paid dividends every year since the rates were lowered. If the favorable tax rate on dividends is eliminated, many corporations will reduce or eliminate their dividends and many other companies will not start paying dividends or will not increase their dividends as much.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I just extended my analysis of Warren Buffett's to an 8 year period 2000-2008. His wealth went up $40 billion during that time, so that's how much he "made"- on average 5 billion per year. (His spending is insignificant compared to that, much less than 1%. I did adjust the figure for the $4 billion he contributed to charity during the period) The personal taxes he paid are insignificant, about 0.2% of that $40 billion. However, in all fairness we need to consider the taxes paid by his company Berkshire Hathaway, where virtually all his wealth comes from and is held. Over that 8 year period the company paid about $22 billion in taxes. What part of this did Buffett in effect pay? He owned about 30% of the company and economists tell us that about 50-60% of all corporate taxes are ultimately passed on the owner-investor (the other 40-50% is ultimately paid by workers, consumers). So $22 billion x 30% x 60% = $3.9 billion This is the share of Berkshire Hathaway's taxes that Buffett in effect paid. Add 8 years of his personal direct taxes, about $0.1 billion and you get $4.0 billion for direct and indirect taxes he paid while he made that $40 billion. So 4.0 billion/$40 billion = a total tax rate of 10% on his income and investment gains. This is just about the 11% I came up with for a single year 2006.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Economists generally agree right now employees and consumers pay about half any corporate tax and investors pay the other half.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Continued ... Since corporate taxes obscure who is really paying the tax, my plans does away with them.

Instead my plan requires 70% of corporate profits be distributed in dividends to owners/shareholders each year and those dividends are taxed at the same rate as wage.

Voila- -no double tax argument; no question about the tax being shifted to those not profiting from the business; corporations no longer making inefficient decisions simply to avoid tax; corporations drwn to the US from the world over..

[-] -1 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

Buffett’s likely source of low tax rates

What can we glean from the information Mr. Buffett provided this week? It would appear that the vast majority of his income was taxed at the 15% tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains and qualified dividends. All other types of taxable income that exceeded $373,650 in 2010 are taxed at a 35% marginal tax rate. His average tax rate of 17.4% is much closer to the 15% rate than the 35% rate. What is the importance of this fact? Let’s look at both types of 15%-taxed income—long-term capital gains and qualified dividend income.

Dividends

The principal reason for taxing qualified dividends at a lower rate than ordinary income is that the income earned to pay the dividends was previously subject to a tax at the corporate level when it was earned. The maximum corporate tax rate is 35%. When that income is distributed to the shareholders in the form of dividends, it is subject to a second level of tax. For each dollar of pretax corporate profit that is distributed, the combination of the 35% corporate income tax rate and the 15% tax rate on dividends results in only 55.25 cents net to the shareholder ($1 x .65 x .85). The implication of this is that Warren Buffett’s dividend income has been subject to a combined tax rate of close to 45%, not 15%. Because of this double taxation, Warren Buffett has made sure that the company of which he is the CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, has never paid a dividend. There are two caveats to this analysis: some corporations (such as insurance companies) are often taxed at lower rates, and there is debate among economists as to who actually pays the corporate income tax.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

You are barking up the wrong tree here. In my calculations, his personal taxes account for about 1% of his tax burden. Almost all of his taxes in my calculation are indirect taxes he in effect pays although Berkshire Hathaway writes the check.

[-] -1 points by tesn1 (212) 2 years ago

Congressman Tim Huelskamp providing the following details from Mr. Buffets 2010 form 1040: Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) $62,855,038, Taxable Income: $39,814,784, Federal Income Tax $6,923,494. Dividing his Federal Income Tax by his Taxable Income results in an average tax rate of 17.4%.

Forbes;

Fair, do the Math and BE HONEST> Do not skew the Numbers like you are on your spread sheet! YOU LIER!

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Name-calling is an act desperation, generally resorted to by someone getting trounced in an argument.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The difference is that I include all taxes, payroll, state, sales, etc.... including his share of corporate taxes in Berkshire Hathaway, which is about 100 times more than his personal federal income tax. And I also include his unrealized capital gains as "income and investment gains," He does not have to report those gains , and are taxed at 0 % under our crazy tax system. However, I would bet anyone but a Republican would consider those 8 billion to be part of his income (although I scrupulously always call them "income and investment gains", since for the year that I chose - an average year for him - he was 8 billion richer on the last day of the year compared to the first day of the year.

This is all laid out in detail at he site http://fairsharetaxes.org and reflected in every statement I made here.

So I am honest. You have just not read carefully. Sort of embarrassing, huh?

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I did check your spreadsheet. What are Buffett's "non-taxable investment gains", which is by far the majority of his annual "income" you state, on which you then do the further math. This would seem to be the current value of stock or companies that he hasn't sold over and above what he paid for it. That means the money is still at risk and hasn't been "banked" yet. How could you possibly tax him on that?

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Here's more on the same topic from the site:

One way to view the almost 4% wealth tax (combined federal, state, and municipal) that would be paid by those with a net-worth of over 30 million is by dividing the 4% by 4 as follows: 1.0% would replace current capital gains taxes (a 25% tax on presumed very conservative average 6% investment gains on 70% of assets - This seems more than fair since middle class workers have for years paid 25-40% of their wages from work in total taxes.); 1.0% would replace about the current 30% estate tax on a fortune (just taken out in small annual chunks rather than breaking up the "family farm" on the death of a multi-millionaire); 1.0% would represent a very mild claw-back for all the unrealized capital gains that have never been taxed; the remaining 1.0% tax on net-worth is justified because net-worth is the best measure of a) ability to pay and b) the extent to which she profited from the economic infrastructure that government (other taxpayers) provide.

from http://fairsharetaxes.org/Talkingpoints.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Yep it could go down but a 8 billion gain in his portfolio is fairly average for him, growing year after year, never taxed. That's why I propose eliminating the capital gains tax and the estate tax and instead taxing net worth at 1-2% (progressively). It's a tax on deemed average income year-after-year form capital gains. One way to look at is is 1.5% is a 25% on very conservative average 6% captial gains.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Is everyone with a stock portfolio to pay this same tax? Is this deemed income taxed at regular income tax rates, or is it just part of the net worth tax, or both? If there are no capital gains, I guess you couldn't sell and have a capital loss then? There are a lot of people who save over a lifetime, put their money at risk in the market, and eventually maybe have a half million dollars or something. They never sell it and count on it for retirement. It all depends on how this thing works. If when you sold your account it was tax free it might be worth the risk, but I can just see some 45 year old couple with 2 or 3 kids trying to pay for school and a half million dollar retirement account having to pay an additional $5,000 a year, and are another 14 years from being able to sell it without penalty, and when they do sell it, having to pay normal income tax rates on it. That would never fly.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Oh and no real estate tax. Did you ever think that a young middle class family pays tax on the full value of the home, that is many times their equity in it and the net worth, while a millionaire is paying taxes on what is perhaps only 10% their net-worth.

Detail of tax plan: http://fairsharetaxes.org/ProposedReform.aspx

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

No capital gains income tax. No estate tax. Instead there is a networth tax, a portion of which is in effect a tax all capital gains, (not just capital gains that have to be realized because the shareholders are not superwealthy and can't let their gain ride).

Net worth exempt from the 1-2% networth tax is $20,000 per household member plus 130% the median cost of a home (about $230,000, whether you decide to own a home or not) and the amount in the unified tax free education/retirement account (age dependent caps - about $500,000 for a 50 year old couple)

[-] -1 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 2 years ago

Also, a family that earns 156K has nowhere near a net worth of 2m. Unless they are nearing retirement. Then you'd propose taxing the hell out of them? Not so sure I agree.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

I know a family just like it. In fact if you have $2 million, you don't need to work. It's pretty hard not to make 156K in investment gains on that money. Do the math. I have. It's all on the website.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 0 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 2 years ago

That's double tax then. Most middle class have a retirement goal around that number. I make that much, but my net worth won't be anywhere near that number for a decade or two.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

It replaces taxes on capital gains, estates, and real estate. Those are all "double tax" as you put it. Why do you pay them?

From the website http://fairsharetaxes.org

Firstly, much of this wealth is from unrealized capital gains that has never been taxed, or it is from qualified dividends and long-term capital gains that were undertaxed (at roughly 4-fold lower total federal tax rates) compared to work. Secondly, under the current system, nearly all money used to pay sales, excise, and property taxes has already been taxed as income. They, more than a net-worth (wealth) tax, represent double taxation and are regressive taxes to boot. Most of them should be done away with, certainly before dismissing a wealth tax as double taxation.

[-] 1 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 2 years ago

Fair points. Well put. Will read your site.

[-] -1 points by YuckFouHippies (189) 2 years ago

Taxes should be reformed but the numbers you state are way off. And you fail to highlight, the reason Buffets taxes are so low are largely because of his highly philanthropic tax strategy. You also fail to address the minimum wage earner in this country pays no federal taxes at all. You would ask the rich to give more to the taxman, he would ask you to give more to charity. Some would really just rather give to charity. At least when you give it to charity you are not supporting the lazy, or sponsoring wars you don't believe in. I'd gladly give a donation to Komen vs the bongo blasting hippy with nose balls to support his weed habit.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

The calculation was done for 2006 (under the same tax system we have now) - before Buffet started his very admirable charitable giving.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

"And you fail to highlight, the reason Buffets taxes are so low are largely because of his highly philanthropic tax strategy." Wrong - Buffett says so.

"You also fail to address the minimum wage earner in this country pays no federal taxes at all." Wrong. Do the 1040 as I have. And does it matter if she only pays about $600 in federal income taxes, is she's paying about $5000 in other taxes. Taxes are taxes. In fact as the fed cuts back, it will give states and towns less. States and towns will have to tax more, and those taxes are largely regressive ... they hit the poor and middle class more than the rich.

http://fairsharetaxes.org

[-] -1 points by roloff (244) 2 years ago

Warren Buffet is Satan incarnate, he devised this tax system and he is paying Obama to change it so that he can get richer and the impoverished 99% are going to pay for it.

[-] 1 points by PeteG2 (393) 2 years ago

Actually he seems fairly principled. Buffett, more than anyone else, has spoken out against our tax system and the fact that his tax rate is lower than his secretary's rate. For that he has been attacked by the conservatives, the GOP, the tea party, Rush Limbaugh... BTW I've been trying to reach him to confirm my numbers.

http://fairsharetaxes.org