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HonestChieffan
05-05-2011, 04:51 PM
How much more can we soak the rich?
By Jennifer Rubin
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/how-much-more-can-we-soak-the-rich/2011/03/29/AFYW2ZxF_blog.html

In the wake of Osama bin Ladenís killing a significant tax story did not get much notice. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that ďa new congressional study concludes that the percentage of U.S. households owing no federal income tax climbed to 51% for 2009Ē:

A 2008 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, for example, found that the highest-earning 10% of the U.S. population paid the largest share among 24 countries examined, even after adjusting for their relatively higher incomes. ďTaxation is most progressively distributed in the United States,Ē the OECD study concluded.

Meanwhile, the percentage of U.S. households paying no federal income tax has been climbing, and reached 51% for 2009, according to a new analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation. That was the first time since at least 1992 that more than half of households owed no federal income tax, according to JCT estimates; earlier data were unavailable on Monday.

Upper-income taxpayers have seen their pretax income grow more rapidly than other taxpayers. (ďAverage pretax incomes for the top 20% grew from $140,300 in 1979 to $264,700 in 2007, in inflation-adjusted dollars; for the top 10%, they grew from $182,800 in 1979 to $394,500 in 2007 according to the Congressional Budget Office. Incomes for all groups rose at least somewhat during the period, in inflation-adjusted dollars, albeit much more slowly for lower earners.Ē) But, despite liberal rhetoric, the Bush tax cuts have not impeded the trend toward greater progressivity. (ďA series of federal tax breaks for lower earners also has increased tax-system payouts and helped reduce tax shares for lower and middle-income earners.Ē)

This is not an argument for making the tax system less progressive; but the data is a necessary corrective to the impression advanced by the Democrats that the rich donít pay their ďfair share.Ē They pay much more than that.

In his budget speech last month Obama asserted:

Worst of all, [the Republican budget] is a vision that says even though America canít afford to invest in education at current levels or clean energy; even though we can't afford to maintain our commitment on Medicare and Medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. Meanwhile the top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. Thatís who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut thatís paid for by asking 33 seniors to each pay $6,000 more in health costs? Thatís not right, and thatís not going to happen as long as Iím president.

Of course, Republicans are merely declining to raise taxes (the same decision Obama made himself in the 2010 lame-duck session), and the Republicans (such as those on the presidentís own debt commission) are seeking a flatter, simpler tax system with fewer deductions (which will impact higher-income taxpayers who itemize). As the House Budget Committeeís Web site explains:

The House Republican budget keeps revenue within its historical range of 18-19 percent of GDP. The Presidentís distortion is based on the fact that our budget prevents $1 trillion in tax increases. Many Democrats have claimed that our plan includes huge new tax cuts for the rich. This is completely false. Our plan calls for revenue-neutral tax reform along the lines of what the Presidentís Fiscal Commission proposed ó lower rates with a broader base. The President appeared to have endorsed this idea in his speech, but he also called for higher rates. Despite this contradiction on tax policy, the President was clear in his intent to raise taxes again on job creators and American families.

But such is the state of the rhetoric these days that Democrats view any impediment to raising taxes on the rich as an effort to impoverish the rest of Americans.

Moreover, the Democrats are perpetuating a fundamental untruth: If we tax only the rich more, we can keep entitlement programs just the way they are. But of course, the numbers donít work that way. In rebutting the presidentís speech Ryan at an event sponsored by the e21 think tank was asked whether Obamaís plan could keep the debt stable without raising taxes on the middle class. He answered:.

Itís not mathematically possible. Itís literally inconceivable. . . . [Obama] keeps the size of government spending ó right now itís at 25 percent of GDP. You know, itís historically at 20. So the public sector now has five percent of GDP more than what it typically had.

He basically keeps it there.

His plan dips kind of organically in the baseline and then goes back up. So heís basically saying for the rest of this decade, permanently he wants the public sector to take about five percent of our economy in its control.

We get spending down back toward its historic level, and thatís the difference is $6.2 trillion in savings or spending cuts off the Obama budget.

But going in the future, that is really then youíd leap off a cliff. Then spending just goes up on a tear. Itís mathematically impossible, if you agree with this kind of spending, to not tax everybody. . . [I]f you confiscate the wealth of everybody making more than $100,000 this year, you still canít pay off the deficit. . . . I asked the CBO what will the tax rates in the future out here be when my kids are raising their families?

They actually said, ďWell, we can do this, you know.Ē And so they gave me a letter back that said income tax rates would go like this:

You know, they run models to theoretically do this. The ten percent bracket, which is what lower income payers pay, would go to 25 percent. The middle income tax brackets would go to 63 percent. And the top tax rate would go to 88 percent.

And then they euphemistically say in the next sentence, ďThis could have some severe negative effects on the economy at that time.Ē (laughing).

There are legitimate arguments about how progressive our tax system should be; at what level of taxation do we risk impeding economic growth and which goals we want to promote through the tax code (e.g. family economic stability, home ownership, investment)? But we should at least be clear on the facts and our starting point. We canít solve the debt problem by grabbing more money from the rich. And we simply donít have, as Obama asserts, a tax system that undertaxes the rich

Amnorix
05-05-2011, 04:56 PM
But all workers pay a payroll tax, which is of course a tax on income, though under the idiotic nomenclature of the federal government, not an "income tax".

And that payroll tax is 8%. So everyone pays at least that if they work.

blaise
05-05-2011, 04:56 PM
Well, in Detroit nearly half the population can't read.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/04/report-nearly-half-of-detroiters-cant-read/

So, we shouldn't expect many tax dollars from them anytime soon.

FD
05-05-2011, 04:59 PM
When you include all the other parts of the tax system, the share of taxes paid are essentially the same as the share of income. The rich pay a slightly higher share of taxes than their income, and the poor pay a slightly lower share. Its important not to forget that there are a lot of taxes besides the income tax.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_VgJQTp0Bsf0/TbG1L-PYTdI/AAAAAAAAAeM/cAtrN2W0K98/ctjshare.jpg

http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2011.pdf

patteeu
05-05-2011, 05:01 PM
But all workers pay a payroll tax, which is of course a tax on income, though under the idiotic nomenclature of the federal government, not an "income tax".

And that payroll tax is 8%. So everyone pays at least that if they work.

The payroll taxes theoretically fund specific programs (SS and Medicare). That means the income tax is the primary funding source for most of the rest. If less than half of us pay for all of those other programs, what incentive do the freeloaders have to keep that spending in check?

mikey23545
05-05-2011, 05:03 PM
Pay at least a 10% income tax or lose your vote.

Simple.

KC native
05-05-2011, 05:05 PM
jfc, how many times is this thread going to be posted?

KC native
05-05-2011, 05:05 PM
Pay at least a 10% income tax or lose your vote.

Simple.

Poll taxes have been illegal for a long time. Keep showing your racist ass.

stevieray
05-05-2011, 05:07 PM
Keep showing your racist ass.

funny, that's what others have said about you in the past...

KC native
05-05-2011, 05:12 PM
funny, that's what others have said about you in the past...

:rolleyes: Just because you read something that the RWNJs have posted on CP doesn't mean it's true.

mlyonsd
05-05-2011, 07:08 PM
Keep showing your racist ass.

What makes his statement racist?

patteeu
05-05-2011, 07:17 PM
What makes his statement racist?

KCN's irrational butthurt.

mlyonsd
05-05-2011, 07:42 PM
KCN's irrational butthurt.I'm guessing there's a history between the two but mikey's argument taken at face value isn't racist at all.

patteeu
05-05-2011, 08:15 PM
I'm guessing there's a history between the two but mikey's argument taken at face value isn't racist at all.

Yeah. I think KCN is referring to the historical use of poll taxes to prevent poor blacks from voting, but the fact that racists once used poll taxes doesn't make mikey's argument racist.

CoMoChief
05-05-2011, 09:53 PM
Poll taxes have been illegal for a long time. Keep showing your racist ass.

how is that racist?

Mizzou_8541
05-05-2011, 10:04 PM
how is that racist?

Because if you don't agree with liberals, you are clearly racist. Duh.

CrazyPhuD
05-05-2011, 10:32 PM
how is that racist?

Historically poll taxes were used in the south to discourage black people from voting. Since post slavery they tended to be quite poor an unable to afford the taxes that many of the whites could.

Consider a similar case, what if the poll tax were $1 million to vote? I don't think you'd find anyone in the super rich who would object to that. Any poll tax would tend to disenfranchise the poor and the poor happens to be disproportionally minority.

CrazyPhuD
05-05-2011, 10:39 PM
But all workers pay a payroll tax, which is of course a tax on income, though under the idiotic nomenclature of the federal government, not an "income tax".

And that payroll tax is 8%. So everyone pays at least that if they work.

One could argue that the payroll tax isn't actually a tax at all but is an enforced investment system. One could thinking of it similar to buying a annuity for income when you are older and prepaying your health insurance when you are older. In both cases you set aside some of your income when you are young to pay expenses for when you are older. Designed properly it wouldn't be a tax at all, just a forced investment system.

Only if the system is broken is it a tax, in that case you'd have the people who are working today paying for those who are currently retired. That is a broken system and most definitely a tax to support the elderly. If it was structured so that we would pay in over time and that money would be invested for us buy the government to pay for our retirement and our health costs when we get older then that is not a tax. It's an enforced investment system acknowledging that people are not capable of saving for their future when they are young. To me that is a very different intent than a tax. A tax I am paying to support someone else, with this system, I would be paying to support an older me.

KC native
05-06-2011, 02:04 PM
I'm guessing there's a history between the two but mikey's argument taken at face value isn't racist at all.

No his argument isn't racist, but mikey is a racist. Just calling it like it is.

Donger
05-06-2011, 02:11 PM
No his argument isn't racist, but mikey is a racist. Just calling it like it is.

Mikey's a racist? Which race?

KC native
05-06-2011, 02:14 PM
Mikey's a racist? Which race?

This is incredibly lame.

Donger
05-06-2011, 02:15 PM
This is incredibly lame.

Huh? If you have determined he is a racist, you must be able to list the race(s) you think he hates, right?

Which one(s)?

Taco John
05-06-2011, 02:55 PM
I hurd'n he hates him sum foot races.

vailpass
05-06-2011, 02:59 PM
Poll taxes have been illegal for a long time. Keep showing your racist ass.

God you suck.

Ebolapox
05-06-2011, 03:09 PM
one thing we can all agree with: tyler perry has got to fucking go away.

Amnorix
05-06-2011, 03:28 PM
The payroll taxes theoretically fund specific programs (SS and Medicare).

Sure, theoretically. In reality, as you well know, those funds go into the general funds of teh government, from which social security payments are also drawn. It's an accounting mechanism, and has little connection with reality.

That means the income tax is the primary funding source for most of the rest. If less than half of us pay for all of those other programs, what incentive do the freeloaders have to keep that spending in check?

errr...no. For years Social Security was a source of net revenues to the government, which the government spent and then issued a (worthless, since it's one pocket promising to pay the other pocket money) IOU to the SSA. At the end of the day, those IOUs are a joke because ultimately both the SSA and the federal government in general are relying on almost exactly the same source for funds -- us.

You comment would be valid if there was any kind of lockbox concept in place, which as you know perfectly well, there is not.

Amnorix
05-06-2011, 03:32 PM
One could argue that the payroll tax isn't actually a tax at all but is an enforced investment system. One could thinking of it similar to buying a annuity for income when you are older and prepaying your health insurance when you are older. In both cases you set aside some of your income when you are young to pay expenses for when you are older. Designed properly it wouldn't be a tax at all, just a forced investment system.

You could argue it, but as the system has always been, and currently is, constituted, it isn't, it isn't, it isn't, and it isn't, respectively, if you follow me. :D


Only if the system is broken is it a tax, in that case you'd have the people who are working today paying for those who are currently retired. That is a broken system and most definitely a tax to support the elderly. If it was structured so that we would pay in over time and that money would be invested for us buy the government to pay for our retirement and our health costs when we get older then that is not a tax. It's an enforced investment system acknowledging that people are not capable of saving for their future when they are young. To me that is a very different intent than a tax. A tax I am paying to support someone else, with this system, I would be paying to support an older me.

The current system is a tax you pay today to support some old person today. Tomorrow, in theory, some young person will pay to support your old ass.

That's our current system, and while it has been a great system, the lack of a lockbox concept, or guaranteed benefits, means it's not really an investment program at all, enforced or otherwise. It's just a system. The governmetn could legally end it tomorrow and you'd have NO legal right to demand payment upon attaining retirement age, etc.

patteeu
05-07-2011, 08:18 AM
Sure, theoretically. In reality, as you well know, those funds go into the general funds of teh government, from which social security payments are also drawn. It's an accounting mechanism, and has little connection with reality.

errr...no. For years Social Security was a source of net revenues to the government, which the government spent and then issued a (worthless, since it's one pocket promising to pay the other pocket money) IOU to the SSA. At the end of the day, those IOUs are a joke because ultimately both the SSA and the federal government in general are relying on almost exactly the same source for funds -- us.

You comment would be valid if there was any kind of lockbox concept in place, which as you know perfectly well, there is not.

No, no lockbox concept is required. An effective lockbox would transform theory into reality, but the current reality paints a worse picture than the theory does. The reality is that payroll taxes aren't adequate to fully fund the entitlement programs. Rather than paying the full amount for those programs and then some more for the general obligations of government, people who pay only payroll taxes are underpaying for those programs and paying nothing toward the general obligations.