PDA

View Full Version : RTF Income Distribution Poll GDG....



Buzz
11-03-2008, 02:44 PM
With all the political and tax policy talk recently on RTF, I've become very curious about what the yearly before tax earnings are of the typical RTF member. No need to comment, I don't want to know what any one individual makes. I prefer it be completely anonymous. I'll answer after a vote or two comes in so as not to let the cat out of the bag on myself.

FOM
11-03-2008, 03:06 PM
Household income or individual? Gross or Net?

FOM

gsc
11-03-2008, 03:08 PM
I don't buy the 250k thing.

Pretty sure he will burn us all.

JMO:p

K G
11-03-2008, 03:08 PM
I took just like I file my taxes: gross, and household.

IRS-style regards, ;-)

kg

luvmylabs23139
11-03-2008, 03:08 PM
Household income or individual? Gross or Net?

FOM

Yeah gross or net makes a huge difference.

Hoosier
11-03-2008, 03:08 PM
Maybe you should ask how many hours a week we work. Then ask the same question to the people acorn is rounding up. Also how much we pay in taxes would be a good question.

FOM
11-03-2008, 03:10 PM
I took just like I file my taxes: gross, and household.

IRS-style regards, ;-)

kg

I figured, but is it adjusted gross? Or flat out gross?

FOM

Fowl Play WA
11-03-2008, 03:14 PM
Maybe you should ask how many hours a week we work. Then ask the same question to the people acorn is rounding up. Also how much we pay in taxes would be a good question.

I'm a teacher so I'm paid for 35 hours a week, but I work many many more.

K G
11-03-2008, 03:15 PM
I figured, but is it adjusted gross? Or flat out gross?

FOM


Seriously, Lainee.....I think he's just looking for an overall relative number.....sort of an "unscientific" poll for overview's sake.

Mark whichever column you're comfortable with and move on.... :cool:

No attribution regards,

kg

Buzz
11-03-2008, 03:15 PM
Household income or individual? Gross or Net?

FOM


I guess I would say family. I don't think that way because my wife has only worked part time here and there over the last 20 years. Lucky her...;-)

Gross. Unless you're a business of course.

2tall
11-03-2008, 03:15 PM
Very hard to answer. Being that both of us are in the Real Estate related industry, our answer last year would be far different than this year. So if I just choose the present won't that be a false representation?

Buzz
11-03-2008, 03:17 PM
Maybe you should ask how many hours a week we work. Then ask the same question to the people acorn is rounding up. Also how much we pay in taxes would be a good question.

You design the poll, and I'll click the appropriate button...:cool:

luvmylabs23139
11-03-2008, 03:18 PM
The other huge problem is none of it takes into account the regional differences in COL and salaries.

FOM
11-03-2008, 03:21 PM
Seriously, Lainee.....I think he's just looking for an overall relative number.....sort of an "unscientific" poll for overview's sake.

Mark whichever column you're comfortable with and move on.... :cool:

No attribution regards,

kg

Yes sir! :D

FOM

Buzz
11-03-2008, 03:22 PM
The other huge problem is none of it takes into account the regional differences in COL and salaries.

I live in South Dakota. Should I double mine?

I'm just looking to get an idea. Don't be getting all scientific on me!:-P

K G
11-03-2008, 03:22 PM
Sorry, Lainee....just my way of trying to get you off the fence....no harm intended....:p.....see Buzz's post backing up my guess....:wink:

kg

Buzz
11-03-2008, 03:28 PM
"Are you jealous of his success or blinded by the color of his skin?"
Bruce Loeffelholz, referring to Barack H. Obama, 11/2/08

I just noticed this KG. Did Bruce really say that? Well, at least he didn't take it to the gutter!;-)

Bob Gutermuth
11-03-2008, 03:29 PM
I'm retired so my income is GROSS for someone who worked for as long as I did.

luvmylabs23139
11-03-2008, 03:43 PM
I live in South Dakota. Should I double mine?

I'm just looking to get an idea. Don't be getting all scientific on me!:-P



Sorry, it's the accountant in me coming out!

FOM
11-03-2008, 03:46 PM
Sorry, Lainee....just my way of trying to get you off the fence....no harm intended....:p.....see Buzz's post backing up my guess....:wink:

kg

Pssst, I know ;) I was bored at work and decided to ask.......only ao much coding a person can do in a single day without going bonkers.....I wished I was out training dogs....

FOM

BonMallari
11-03-2008, 03:52 PM
is that income after my field trialing and hunting habits...if so its a negative balance..and I dont even tell my ex how much I make so why would I make that info public on here...

Buzz
11-03-2008, 03:57 PM
is that income after my field trialing and hunting habits...if so its a negative balance..and I dont even tell my ex how much I make so why would I make that info public on here...


Well, my wife isn't even sure how much we make. The way she spends, I believe she thinks it is higher than it really is. I never complain, because I know she would point to the tens of thousands I've spent on my dog and hunting habits.

Unless you know a way to extract the identities of folks from a poll, I imagine you could post and be pretty confident of your anonymity.

Shayne Mehringer
11-03-2008, 03:58 PM
is that income after my field trialing and hunting habits...if so its a negative balance..and I dont even tell my ex how much I make so why would I make that info public on here...

HA! I don't even tell my current wife how much i make! She'd prolly leave me if she found out.

SM

K G
11-03-2008, 04:01 PM
I just noticed this KG. Did Bruce really say that? Well, at least he didn't take it to the gutter!;-)

He did indeed. I would NEVER have posted a quote that wasn't attributable to the person who wrote it. You'd have to read the whole post to decide if he took it to the gutter or not.

kg

MooseGooser
11-03-2008, 04:31 PM
Do's I have to claim my extra curricular dough that I dont usually claim anywho's??:confused::confused:

I hate these trick questions!

Gooser

Juli H
11-03-2008, 04:37 PM
Do's I have to claim my extra curricular dough that I dont usually claim anywho's??:confused::confused:

I hate these trick questions!

Gooser

Gooser, what kinda dough you talkin about? cookie dough can't be taxed (well, I suppose unless you are Ms. Fields or the Girl Scouts...., I am sure if Obama becomes Pres he will try to find a way to tax Girl Scout cookies)...

don't know why it would be extra-curricular....what you doin' with that cookie dough Gooser?

Juli

Captain Mike D
11-03-2008, 05:00 PM
"How much cotton can a cotton picker pick, if he picked cotton all day?"
Got a feeling we're gonna find out.
Nice knowing ya'll!!

Mike

RedHeadedHurricane
11-03-2008, 05:23 PM
Dear Fellow Business Owners:

As a Business owner who employs 70 people, I have resigned myself to the
fact that Barack Obama will be our next President, and that my Taxes and
Fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Customer will have to
see an increase in my fees to them of about 8%. I will also have to lay off 6
of my employees. This really bothered me as I believe we are family here
and didnʼt know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did.
I strolled thru the parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on my
employees cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.


I can't think of another more fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know. I am sending this letter to all Business owners that I know'

K G
11-03-2008, 06:01 PM
Dear Fellow Business Owners:

As a Business owner who employs 70 people, I have resigned myself to the
fact that Barack Obama will be our next President, and that my Taxes and
Fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Customer will have to
see an increase in my fees to them of about 8%. I will also have to lay off 6
of my employees. This really bothered me as I believe we are family here
and didnʼt know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did.
I strolled thru the parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on my
employees cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.


I can't think of another more fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know. I am sending this letter to all Business owners that I know'


You won't be alone, but it's no sweat.....BHO has a plan that will cover those who are unemployed. Right, Bruce?

Redistribute the wealth regards,

kg

Jim Pickering
11-03-2008, 07:57 PM
With all the political and tax policy talk recently on RTF, I've become very curious about what the yearly before tax earnings are of the typical RTF member.

I have wondered the same thing. Based on the opinions posted here concerning taxes I have concluded that the majority of the folks here are making in excess of $250,000. Who would have thought that selling dog training videos was that lucrative?

Captain Mike D
11-03-2008, 08:14 PM
I have wondered the same thing. Based on the opinions posted here concerning taxes I have concluded that the majority of the folks here are making in excess of $250,000.

Maybe not, maybe SOME folks DEPEND on folks that earn over that threshhold for their livelyhoods!!

No smiley faces from here,
Mike

tshuntin
11-03-2008, 10:15 PM
I just want to know if any of the $251K and overs are looking for a new hunting buddy!!! :D I am great company, don't complain, and will go hunting anywhere you will take me. :p:D

JDogger
11-03-2008, 10:52 PM
Dear Fellow Business Owners:

As a Business owner who employs 70 people, I have resigned myself to the
fact that Barack Obama will be our next President, and that my Taxes and
Fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Customer will have to
see an increase in my fees to them of about 8%. I will also have to lay off 6
of my employees. This really bothered me as I believe we are family here
and didnʼt know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did.
I strolled thru the parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on my
employees cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.


I can't think of another more fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know. I am sending this letter to all Business owners that I know'

The bumper sticker School of Business Management... Inspired... truly...Good luck on your next round of employment recruiting... I hope those that you employ give you exactly what you expect... you deserve no less.
If, as you and your ilk imply, that ecomonic hardship is just around the corner, business's such as your's, that rely on discretionary
spending, will be the first to fail.

Through the lens regards,

JD

Uncle Bill
11-03-2008, 11:01 PM
Geez, I voted and now I see there are 12 making over a quarter mill. Wonder who the other 11 are?


UB

Hoosier
11-03-2008, 11:11 PM
I thought under 200K was lower middle class, but now I think I might be wrong.

SMITTYSSGTUSMC
11-03-2008, 11:58 PM
I have wondered the same thing. Based on the opinions posted here concerning taxes I have concluded that the majority of the folks here are making in excess of $250,000. Who would have thought that selling dog training videos was that lucrative?

Jim,
I have posted on numerous ocations something to the point that while I do not make more than $250 k I do own four(4) homes and write them off on my taxes a the end of the year. One of the houses my mother lives in, while yet another is a rental property, then there is the house that me and my family live in currently, as well as the mobile home we bought to go to and from hunt test as we saw it as a cheaper way to pay for the dog games I have became addicted to so vary fast. Now with that said the average tax rebate check after the interest is deducted comes to around $10,000 a year. For a Marine or I’m sure any one under the 250K thresh hold that is a lot of money, that is money that will no longer be in my pocket because Obama wants to get rid of the multi-home tax credit, so Again why should we punish those who work hard save everything invest into property and then take it away because not everybody can, or will do it. Since when should it be a bad thing to get a Piece of the preverbal American pie or (4) in my case.

Smitty

luvmylabs23139
11-04-2008, 12:06 AM
I'm not near the $250K but most years I do have capital gains. Obama has already said he will RAISE the capital gains tax, so my taxes would go up under his plan. I pulled money out of the market before the bottom fell out, and there is no way I'm buying back in if he gets elected. His capital gains tax proposal is keeping capital out of the markets.
He truly doesn't get it.

Hew
11-04-2008, 05:43 AM
I have wondered the same thing. Based on the opinions posted here concerning taxes I have concluded that the majority of the folks here are making in excess of $250,000. Who would have thought that selling dog training videos was that lucrative?
I don't have to be a robbery victim to know that robbery is morally wrong. Likewise, it is not requisite to make over $250k in order for most to recognize the moral repugnance of a majority voting to reach into the wallets of thge minority and take their money.

Granddaddy
11-04-2008, 06:57 AM
Here's the thing most don't look at when it comes to 250K in income. Small business owners generally organize their companies as LLCs or sub-chapter S corps (to avoid double taxing on income). Under IRS rules for such organizations, the companies do not pay income taxes (they do pay 50%+ of the payroll taxes, employees pay the balance of SS taxes & medicare directly). Any income derived from LLCs & S-corps flow directly to the owners who must report that income personally even if the money stays in the company. Therefore any increase in taxes on those companies making over 250K will have a direct affect in the owner's ability to increase employment, increase pay & benefits to existing employees or make additional investment in the company to grow the business.

This is why our nation's economy cannot be grown from the "bottom up" as Obama would like the electorate to think. Small businesses provide over 50% of all employment in the US. Increase the tax burden on small businesses and jobs will decrease, small business grow will slow. It's not rocket science but politicians will do most anything but tell you the plain truth.

Jim Pickering
11-04-2008, 08:06 AM
I don't have to be a robbery victim to know that robbery is morally wrong. Likewise, it is not requisite to make over $250k in order for most to recognize the moral repugnance of a majority voting to reach into the wallets of thge minority and take their money.

So you are either in the $250,000+ group? If not, you have my respect for sticking with your principles and being willing to put your money where your mouth is.

Taxes have always been a process of redistributing wealth and every income group thinks they are the ones paying more than their fair share.

A little history on Income Taxes for those who think any thing except lowering them will destroy this country.
http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/taxes/ustax.shtml

Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861 to finance the Civil War and that Act included provisions for the first personal income tax. The income tax was levied at 3 percent on all incomes higher than $800 a year.

However, it was 1913 when the XVI Amendment to the Constitution was ratified authorizing the federal government to impose an income tax.

Amendment XVI
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Congress passed a new income tax law with rates beginning at 1% and rising to 7% for taxpayers with income in excess of $500,000. Less than 1 percent of the population paid income tax at the time.

Needing still more tax revenue to finance WWI, Congress passed the War Revenue Act of 1917 which lowered exemptions and greatly increased tax rates. In 1917 a taxpayer with only $40,000 faced a 16 percent rate and the individual with $1.5 million faced a tax rate of 67 percent.

Another revenue act was passed in 1918, which hiked tax rates once again, this time raising the top rate to 77 percent.

The economy boomed during the 1920s in spite of the high tax rates resulting in increase revenues from income taxes. Congress cut tax rates five times, ultimately returning the bottom tax rate to 1 percent and the top rate down to 25 percent. The result was to stimulate a mania in financial assets resulting in the stock market crash of 1929 and economic depression of the early 1930s.

To keep the government solvent Congress was forced to pass the Tax Act of 1932 which dramatically increased tax rates once again. By 1936 the lowest tax rate had reached 4 percent and the top rate was up to 79 percent. While most do not like what was done with the tax revenues the government was eventually able to spend the economy out of the depression.

By the end of the WWII the nature of the income tax had been fundamentally altered. Reductions in exemption levels meant that taxpayers with taxable incomes of only $500 faced a bottom tax rate of 23 percent, while taxpayers with incomes over $1 million faced a top rate of 94 percent.

That is, when this country chose to fight a war, the citizens at the time paid for the war. They did not defer that cost to their children and grandchildren. Note that our economy and our country faired fairly well for the next 40 years.

Fast forward to the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, the Reagan tax cuts, which enjoyed strong bi-partisan support in the Congress and represented a fundamental shift in the course of federal income tax policy. it featured a 25 percent reduction in individual tax brackets, phased in over 3 years, and indexed for inflation thereafter. This brought the top tax bracket down to 50 percent. However, as a result the Reagan administration incurred massive budget deficits to the tune of doubling the National Debt from the cumulative amount incurred by the first 39 presidents of $1.8 Trillion to $4 Trillion.

The Reagan administration continued to push for still lower taxes which resulted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which brought the top statutory tax rate down from 50 percent to 28 percent while the corporate tax rate was reduced from 50 percent to 35 percent. The number of tax brackets was reduced and the personal exemption and standard deduction amounts were increased and indexed for inflation, thereby relieving millions of taxpayers of any Federal income tax burden. However, the Act also created new personal and corporate Alternative Minimum Taxes.

HW Bush, after the “Read my lips. No new taxes.” statement during the campaign, tried to get back to the republican platform of being fiscally conservative and was voted out of office. However, even with the additional tax revenue his administration managed to ad another $2Trillion to the national debt in just four years.

Enter George Bush and his Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2001. Though the rate reductions were phased in over several years, ultimately the top tax rate was to drop from 39.6 percent to 33 percent. Note that is top rate, not the lowest rate or the middle rates. Mr. Bush was able to con the citizens of this country in to prosecuting a war to satisfy his personal agenda and at the same time con you into believing that cutting taxes for the top 5% of tax payers was somehow beneficial to all citizens. The result is that the Bush administration has redoubled the national debt which now stands at $10.8Trillion. That is bought your vote with money borrowed from your children and grandchildren.

And you folks really want John McCain who has promised to continue George Bush’s war and tax cuts. I do not know what the number is. Maybe it was, in fact, $10.8Trillion. Maybe it will be $15Trillion or $20Trillion, but I do know that as some number this country will be crushed under the weight of it debt.

JS
11-04-2008, 08:19 AM
Jim, I don't see any mention of social programs.
If I'm to believe the information you posted, I would conclude that wars have had a much greater impact on my tax burden than "handouts".
Could that be true?? :confused:

JS

Mike Noel
11-04-2008, 08:56 AM
Taxes have always been a process of redistributing wealth and every income group thinks they are the ones paying more than their fair share.



It seems that even the folks that pay ZERO in taxes think they pay too much.....its obvious that BHO feels that way.

I could swallow a tax increase if every dollar went toward paying down the national debt....instead it is going to put in someone else's pocket. In the long run (which this country and its citizens dont seem to care about....its all about getting everything right NOW) this entire country would benefit from getting the deficit under control and our national debt to manageable levels.

Those $600 checks did little to pump up the economy and any effect they had was temporary. BHO's $1000 gifts will result in much the same, zero long term benefit to the economy.

You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer - Winston Churchill

Buzz
11-04-2008, 08:58 AM
The poll kind of verifies what I thought. Dog games are expensive, and those that participate are likely to earn on average much more than the median US family income.

I came across this interesting graphic from the Heritage Foundation on spending. I throw it out there without comment.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n3/davebezesky/SpendingIncrease.gif

YardleyLabs
11-04-2008, 09:20 AM
Interesting. I was looking at their other charts and one is left with the conclusion that when Democrats are in the white house spending goes up less and the budget is consistently closer to being balanced than when Republicans are in the white house. An interesting perspective on fiscal conservatism.

Average Federal Deficit as a Percentage of GDP, by Administration (Source: The Heritage Foundation)




http://www.heritage.org/research/features/budgetchartbook/images/fed-rev-spend-2008-boc-C3-All-Recent-Administrations-Ran-Up.gif

I assume this is simply the result of Democrats benefiting from the brilliant decisions by the Republicans that came before them and then leaving a mess behind for the next Republican to clean up.:)

Hoosier
11-04-2008, 09:37 AM
I wonder what the results would have been if the participants would have been show people. I would think the income levels would be similar. I would also think the politics would be way left of most on this forum. Our sport is based in hunting and gun rights.Thats just my opinion though. On a side note I got rear ended driving this morning. When we got out of the car to look at the damage the guy that hit me asked if I wanted to report it. I told him yes my bumper was about to fall off and there was probably about $4000 in damage. With out knowing me at all the guy says " Yah, but you can afford that I can't". That is the mentality we need to get away from as a nation.
Just my thoughts.

Tremayne

Hew
11-04-2008, 09:46 AM
Taxes have always been a process of redistributing wealth and every income group thinks they are the ones paying more than their fair share.
Nearly 50% of the country pays zero in Federal taxes. And a goodly portion of those that don't pay a dime in taxes actually receive a refund for money they never paid in the first place. Those folks represent a sizable portion of the Obama contituency. Today they will be voting to take even more of somebody else's money and line their own pockets with it. Again, you don't have to make over $250k to be disgusted by that.


"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship."

Alexander Fraser Tyler, "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic"

Uncle Bill
11-04-2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks, Hew....That quote is worth repeating MANY times...for we are just now entering the proof of that prognostication. The Obama era will rule for 8 years, and by then we won't be able to recover from socialism. No wonder the Mayan calender ended in 2012. Glorioski! It will be fun.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship."

Alexander Fraser Tyler, "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic"

I was sent this little reminder today. Wonder if it will resonate?


> Once upon a time, there was a charismatic and eloquent
> leader who decided
> his nation needed a change and he was the one to implement
> it. The people
> were receptive and ready for a change. He spoke
> passionately when denouncing
> the existing system and the press loved him.
>
> Nobody questioned what he believed in or who his friends
> were. He would help
> the poor and bring free medical care and education to all.
> He would bring
> justice and equality. He said, ŒI am for hope and change,
> and will bring you
> both.¹
>
> Nobody bothered to ask about the change, so by the time the
> executioner¹s
> guns went silent, all guns had been confiscated. When
> everyone was finally
> equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and miserable. Their
> free education
> was worthless. When the change was fully implemented, the
> country had been
> reduced to Third World status. More than a million people
> fled in small
> boats and rafts.
>
> The charismatic young leader was Fidel Castro; the nation,
> Cuba.




And like the chickens that would vote for 'Kernel' Sanders, I'm betting that august crowd of Cubans are voting for Obama...getting their lead from all the Jews in America. The break-out of the various ethnic groups, and how they voted will be the most interesting part of this election.

Hope they do a break-out of the vote by income. If nothing else, it will confirm Tyler's prediction. The "something-for-nothing" crowd will be in command, and will stay there until the nation is once again in civil war. And it won't be the 'haves' at war with the 'have-nots', because there won't be any haves hanging around. They will have left.

Atlas will shrug!

UB

paul young
11-04-2008, 10:44 AM
i must be locked in a basement somewhere; i'm almost 56 years old and have never met anyone who didn't pay taxes. nearly 50%, you say? are you counting people too young or old to work? if so, that might explain it, but i would have to call it misleading, as well.

my first job was summer work on a tobacco farm at age 13. i made $1.05/hr. i filed that year and had it mostly refunded, but i still paid taxes.-Paul

K G
11-04-2008, 11:36 AM
The national debt and annual budget deficits are going to bring pain to all Americans.....no way around it

Bruce

That's true enough, Bruce.....but WHO is going to suffer that pain the most will be DIRECTLY determined by the outcome of today's election, as will who benefits the most by contributing the least.

You don't SPEND your way to SAVINGS regards,

kg

Marvin S
11-04-2008, 11:42 AM
Jim - as usual, your post is excellent, but I believe you to have done a little selecting in what you presented. So I am taking the liberty of adding to your information, on selected areas.


That is, when this country chose to fight a war, the citizens at the time paid for the war. They did not defer that cost to their children and grandchildren. Note that our economy and our country faired fairly well for the next 40 years.

The first time I heard "Guns & Butter" it was associated with the policies of LBJ.


Fast forward to the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, the Reagan tax cuts, which enjoyed strong bi-partisan support in the Congress and represented a fundamental shift in the course of federal income tax policy. it featured a 25 percent reduction in individual tax brackets, phased in over 3 years, and indexed for inflation thereafter. This brought the top tax bracket down to 50 percent. However, as a result the Reagan administration incurred massive budget deficits to the tune of doubling the National Debt from the cumulative amount incurred by the first 39 presidents of $1.8 Trillion to $4 Trillion.

The Reagan administration continued to push for still lower taxes which resulted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which brought the top statutory tax rate down from 50 percent to 28 percent while the corporate tax rate was reduced from 50 percent to 35 percent. The number of tax brackets was reduced and the personal exemption and standard deduction amounts were increased and indexed for inflation, thereby relieving millions of taxpayers of any Federal income tax burden. However, the Act also created new personal and corporate Alternative Minimum Taxes.

Reagan was a "B" rated actor & registered D until he got on the AUH2O bandwagon & recognized the momentum. He had a lot of D instincts & forgot that he owned the veto pen on many unnecessary spending bills.


HW Bush, after the “Read my lips. No new taxes.” statement during the campaign, tried to get back to the republican platform of being fiscally conservative and was voted out of office. However, even with the additional tax revenue his administration managed to ad another $2Trillion to the national debt in just four years.

Bush 41 reneged on a campaign pledge during his 1st term & was poorly supported in his campaign for a 2nd term.


Enter George Bush and his Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2001. Though the rate reductions were phased in over several years, ultimately the top tax rate was to drop from 39.6 percent to 33 percent. Note that is top rate, not the lowest rate or the middle rates. Mr. Bush was able to con the citizens of this country in to prosecuting a war to satisfy his personal agenda and at the same time con you into believing that cutting taxes for the top 5% of tax payers was somehow beneficial to all citizens. The result is that the Bush administration has redoubled the national debt which now stands at $10.8Trillion. That is bought your vote with money borrowed from your children and grandchildren.

Bush 43 has been a fiscal disaster as was his father, though both are people of fine character. They have an elitist's view of the conduct of the presidency, & the nation has suffered due to their unwillingness to engage their critics who have had a free run. Again, Bush 43 forgot he had a veto pen.

Now, in response to your post & Buzz who posted the chart. Democrats are known for starving the military of needed investment to continue their mission. Military infrastructure is not inexpensive, but is a necessary expenditure of tax money. That helps the D's spending record, which is generally spent on Non Value added items..

The issue I have is Bush 41 held Highway money in the fund in order to present a balanced budget when there were glaring needs on the infrastructure side. That is an example of very shortsightedness. Look at our transportation infrastructure today, pathetic.

In closing, I don't see McCain heading us down a path to destruction, though like others I would like to see none of our debt in another country & our dependence on countries that don't like us reduced. I do see major long term ramifications if the "Redistributor" ends up prevailing, & those will affect our grandchildren more than owing a little bit of money, which we can dig ourselves out from under. One must realize that when issues become ingrained in society's fabric they are difficult to remove, like a bad stain.

Marvin S
11-04-2008, 11:45 AM
You remind me of a child

Is it that difficult to refrain from being personal?

K G
11-04-2008, 11:56 AM
Is it that difficult to refrain from being personal?

By all indications, Bruce doesn't own a mirror, Marvin.

kg

T. Mac
11-04-2008, 11:58 AM
The US Census Bureau has an interesting website for comparing stats from area to area. Just be careful that the time frames are comparable.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html

T. Mac

Brevard Arndt
11-04-2008, 12:00 PM
I'm not sure. I am retired, I have SS and a Directors retainer, for sure. Two months ago I could have predicted my interest and dividend income, but now.............?

I do know it will sure be a damn sight less than before I retired.

Captain Mike D
11-04-2008, 12:41 PM
Like the chickens that would vote for 'Kernel' Sanders, I'm betting that august crowd of Cubans are voting for Obama...getting their lead from all the Jews in America. The break-out of the various ethnic groups, and how they voted will be the most interesting part of this election.
UB


Do not think the Cuban community will be voting for Obama. As a people, they have a deep respect and value for the freedom that was gained by reaching Florida.
I'll post up which way Dade Co. went.

Palm Beach Co. should be a fair indicator of the overall Jewish vote.

K G
11-04-2008, 12:47 PM
We are not electing a dictator. There will still be a 2 party system with checks and balances and plenty of public information. I am guessing you will see a bi-partisan cabinet. A lot of issues have been forced in this perfect storm.....

Gosh....I feel better already:rolleyes:. It'll be a "perfect storm" alright: the House, the Senate, and the President, all of one party. If the Senate hits 60 democrats, they can stop the filibuster. "Checks and balances" my hiney..........:mad:

"Plenty" of public information? That remains to be seen. It'll be interesting to watch how an Obama presidency will be treated by the mass media. Don't expect them to show all the warts....;-)

kg

Hew
11-04-2008, 12:52 PM
i must be locked in a basement somewhere; i'm almost 56 years old and have never met anyone who didn't pay taxes. over 50%, you say? are you counting people too young or old to work? if so, that might explain it, but i would have to call it misleading, as well.

my first job was summer work on a tobacco farm at age 13. i made $1.05/hr. i filed that year and had it mostly refunded, but i still paid taxes.-Paul
Don't confuse FICA deductions with taxed income. Two distinct animals.

The top 1% of wage earners pay 40% of all income tax
The top 5% account for 60% of all income tax revenue
The top 10% account for 70%
The top 25% pay 86% of all income tax
The top 50% of wage earners account for 97% of all income tax revenue
The bottom 50% of wage earners pay 3% of all income tax revenue

So yes, a little hyperbole...50% of the country doesn't pay zero taxes; they pay three percent. THREE PERCENT. 38% of the country pays literally no income tax and an obscene chunk of those receive money back that they never paid in the first place.

Uncle Bill
11-04-2008, 01:14 PM
KG wrote, "If the Senate hits 60 democrats, they can stop the filibuster. "Checks and balances" my hiney..........:mad:


The Dems won't need 60, KG...The Republicans still have the likes of Olympia, and the others in the NE USA. We can pretty much expect them to cross over on a whim, especially if it's a 'touchy-feely' bill, like health care, troop removal, and anything to do with class envy.

Now, to answer the question posed by the leftie wondering who will the have-nots be coming after, since the haves will have moved on. THEY WILL BE COMING AFTER YOU, BRUCE! KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY.

Just because you voted with them, doesn't make you one of them...you are a 'have' in their eyes.

I'm still anxious to see the economy grow from the bottom up, and all those jobs the have-nots will be creating.

UB

Buzz
11-04-2008, 01:22 PM
So yes, a little hyperbole...50% of the country doesn't pay zero taxes; they pay three percent. THREE PERCENT. 38% of the country pays literally no income tax and an obscene chunk of those receive money back that they never paid in the first place.

I keep hearing about this. Are you guys referring to the earned income tax credit? The one passed by Nixon and expanded by Reagan?

"In 1986, the EITC was a critical reason why President Reagan
could proclaim that the Tax Reform Act took millions of working poor off the income tax rolls."

It is good to know that Reagan was a lefty.;-)

Buzz
11-04-2008, 01:24 PM
I'm still anxious to see the economy grow from the bottom up, and all those jobs the have-nots will be creating.

UB


Are you familiar with US history between WWII and the 1980's?

YardleyLabs
11-04-2008, 01:43 PM
Don't confuse FICA deductions with taxed income. Two distinct animals.


I don't buy this at all, particularly since FICA surpluses are what has been financing the country for the last 20 years and the end of those surpluses are what has led to worries about the financial crisis in social security. Had those surpluses been invested instead of spent to pay for tax cuts, the social security trust fund would have a\had enough money to pay for baby boomer retirements until at least the secong half of this century.

If you add Federal payroll taxes into you equation, the tax burden analysis shifts dramatically. In addition, the analysis needs to reflect the fact that the top 1% earn about 14% of all income and hold about 40% of all wealth. I think that the benefits of government flow much more heavily to those at higher income and wealth levels than to those at the bottom. It is, I believe, appropriate that they (we) pay more.

Jim Pickering
11-04-2008, 02:09 PM
Jim, I don't see any mention of social programs.
If I'm to believe the information you posted, I would conclude that wars have had a much greater impact on my tax burden than "handouts".
Could that be true?? :confused:

JS

I was not attempting to draw conclusions on war cost verses social programs, simply food for thought as respects tax rates. This country did reasonably well during periods where the marginal tax rates for the top 5% were much higher than the rates have been since Reagan’s first tax cut in 1981.

However, given that you brought it up, one might conclude that wars are more disruptive from a balanced budget and national debt prospective. Social programs are more or less predictable so if our national level politician had any gonads they could tax us at a rate to cover the cost or cut the programs. Wars on the other hand tend to be unpredictable in time and cost and therefore are prosecuted with IOUs passed on to the future generations.

Hoosier
11-04-2008, 02:09 PM
I don't buy this at all, particularly since FICA surpluses are what has been financing the country for the last 20 years and the end of those surpluses are what has led to worries about the financial crisis in social security. Had those surpluses been invested instead of spent to pay for tax cuts, the social security trust fund would have a\had enough money to pay for baby boomer retirements until at least the secong half of this century.
If you add Federal payroll taxes into you equation, the tax burden analysis shifts dramatically. In addition, the analysis needs to reflect the fact that the top 1% earn about 14% of all income and hold about 40% of all wealth. I think that the benefits of government flow much more heavily to those at higher income and wealth levels than to those at the bottom. It is, I believe, appropriate that they (we) pay more.

I also believe this. That is why I would like to take some of my social security tax and invest it myself for my own retirement.

Jim Pickering
11-04-2008, 02:16 PM
Nearly 50% of the country pays zero in Federal taxes. And a goodly portion of those that don't pay a dime in taxes actually receive a refund for money they never paid in the first place. Those folks represent a sizable portion of the Obama contituency. Today they will be voting to take even more of somebody else's money and line their own pockets with it. Again, you don't have to make over $250k to be disgusted by that.

Would you kindly share your source on this? I have no doubt that many simply do not file a tax return, and many more cheat like hell, but I am hard pressed to believe that 50% do not pay taxes even after you play games with the numbers.

We are due for an new censes in a couple years, but as of the last count in 2000 the population of the US was tallied to be 281,422,906. Of that number 60,253,375 were under the age of 14 so there is 20% that for the most part are not filing a tax return and not paying taxed. There are another estimated 20 million illegal aliens that for the most part do not file a tax return which may account for 5 or 6%. That still leaves about 25% of adults not paying taxes. You may be correct, but I would like to see your source.

Julie R.
11-04-2008, 02:28 PM
Would you kindly share your source on this? I have no doubt that many simply do not file a tax return, and many more cheat like hell, but I am hard pressed to believe that 50% do not pay taxes even after you play games with the numbers.

We are due for an new censes in a couple years, but as of the last count in 2000 the population of the US was tallied to be 281,422,906. Of that number 60,253,375 were under the age of 14 so there is 20% that for the most part are not filing a tax return and not paying taxed. There are another estimated 20 million illegal aliens that for the most part do not file a tax return which may account for 5 or 6%. That still leaves about 25% of adults not paying taxes. You may be correct, but I would like to see your source.

I'm one of those this year. I won't pay any income or SS taxes, because my expenses will greatly exceed my income mainly due to a house fire. But I will still be paying $15,000 in property taxes.

Uncle Bill
11-04-2008, 02:30 PM
Are you familiar with US history between WWII and the 1980's?


I couldn't possibly know as much about that period of our history as a Jon Stewart devotee. BUT, I have lived through it all, but alas, it wasn't in East River Sodak.

UB

Edbuck
11-04-2008, 02:41 PM
Back to the orginal question:

With all the political and tax policy talk recently on RTF, I've become very curious about what the yearly before tax earnings are of the typical RTF member.

It's none of your business, Comrade. :)

Jim Pickering
11-04-2008, 02:43 PM
It seems that even the folks that pay ZERO in taxes think they pay too much.....its obvious that BHO feels that way.


Mike, maybe I missed it but I did not hear you complaining when George Bush gave you and me a tax cut and put the IOU on the backs of our kids and grandkids.


I could swallow a tax increase if every dollar went toward paying down the national debt....instead it is going to put in someone else's pocket. In the long run (which this country and its citizens dont seem to care about....its all about getting everything right NOW) this entire country would benefit from getting the deficit under control and our national debt to manageable levels.

Those $600 checks did little to pump up the economy and any effect they had was temporary. BHO's $1000 gifts will result in much the same, zero long term benefit to the economy.

You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer - Winston Churchill

The remainder of your post I agree with completely. However, what I could more easily swallow and what this country needs may be mutually exclusive.

As Buzz, Jeff and I have pointed out, it amazes me that, with the facts about government spending over the past 45 years going back to Johnson, who BTW had to finance the conflict in Vietnam, the democrat party has been able to retain the label of the Tax and Spend party while the republican party has retained the label of fiscal conservatives.

Labels aside some more food for thought concerning our economy and stimulation provided by tax cuts verses tax and spend. I am not saying one is right and one is wrong, just offering what I see as some logic behind each.

JP ECON 101: You cannot push a string.

I will start with tax cuts. For most of my adult life while I have never been a card carrying member of any party, I was pretty hard core republican. The primary reason was that the Republican Party stood for fiscal responsibility which meant balanced federal budgets. The party began to loose me when it abandoned fiscal responsibility.

Back when the Republican Party and, in fact, both parties adhered fairly closely to balanced budgets we had the option of a reductions in taxes as a means of stimulating the economy. However, starting with Ronald Reagan there have been fundamental changes in government policy that have mitigated the effects of tax cuts as economic stimulus.

The idea behind a tax cut is obviously that if you and I have more money in our pockets from paying fewer taxes we will run out and spend our new found money. We will purchase products and someone will have to make the additional products so new jobs are created. Sounds great and it used to work that way, but no so much today.

Starting with Bill Clinton we got NAFTA which was the start of “Free Trade” agreements pushed hard by both parties. I have lost count of how many “free trade” deals have been approved under George Bush but there have been several. Free trade has a nice ring to it, but what exactly is free trade. Free trade is a deal under which the US drops all import tariffs on good coming in from foreign countries which allows large US companies to move manufacturing facilities to countries with much lower labor cost. It is really that simple. If you own stock in these companies maybe this is good given their profits increase due to much lower labor cost. However, if you worked for one of these companies and lost your job it is not so good.

So getting back to the tax cuts, instead of stimulating our economy when we spend the new found money, to a significant extent we are stimulating the economies of China, India, Mexico and other low wage countries where the products we buy are made. The US economy has not gotten the full impact of the tax cuts.

Next let’s look at who got the tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts and the proposed continuation by McCain skewed the tax cuts to the top 5%. I for one certainly appreciate the extra money, but I have to tell you that we were getting by reasonably well before the Bush tax cuts. In fact we are spending no more after the tax cut than before as I suspect is the case with most in the higher tax brackets. The money for us goes to make the annual addition to the IRA, to make a couple extra house payments or into another CD but very little is actually spent on goodies that would stimulate the economy.

So the distribution of the tax cuts is the second problem. For tax cuts to have a meaningful stimulating effect on our economy even 25+ years back those cuts needed to go to all levels and especially to middle and lower income levels; the folks who are in desperate need for a new pare of shoes for the kid or new tires for the old car. Skewing the cuts to the top mitigates the effect proportionally. One can argue that giving the tax cuts to the top 5% of taxpayers creates investment and therefore new jobs. True to the extent that top percent are the owners of small business that can grow in a weak economy, but as pointed out above much of that money goes into the stocks of large companies and much of that gets invested overseas.

To these two complications add the fact that Reagan, Bush and Bush have already put the citizens of this country under $10.8 Trillion in debt and that was before the $1.6 Trillion in bailout obligations. As I posted earlier I do not know what the number is, but there is no doubt that at some point this country will collapse under the IOUs hung on the necks of the citizens to be paid in the future.

Now let’s look at the tax and spend method of stimulation. First of all there is still that monumental national debt to be concerned about, but if any additional spending is covered by additional taxes the debt does not increase so that burden remains static so long as interest rates do not increase.

On the positive side to the extent that the government spends money within the USA on such things as improvements or repair to infrastructure including roads, water systems, etc 100% of the money goes to toward stimulating our economy and to create jobs at home. Even a national health care program will have a stimulating effect. Given that 40% of the estimated 300 million citizens can not now afford health care do to lack of insurance we will need doctors, nurses, medical office space and hospital space for approximately 122 million new patients.

Bottom line, the government can give people tax cuts, but cannot make them spend the money especially when they are hunkered down wishing they did not have so much debt and wondering how bad it is going to get. The government cannot push the string. The government can however pull the string by collecting the money in taxes and spending within the borders of this country.

Again, I am not saying what is right or wrong, but offering some food for though from a prospective I have not seen on this forum. While we may not like it our economy is in trouble and IMHO tax and spend will have a far greater impact on stimulating our economy that continuing tax cuts of the same magnitude.

Hew
11-04-2008, 02:46 PM
If you add Federal payroll taxes into you equation, the tax burden analysis shifts dramatically.
Not really. The amount paid to earned income tax credit (EITC) recipients (23 million) is tied to FICA withholdings so that the net effect is that they not only don't pay income taxes, they don't pay for their own Social Security either.


I think that the benefits of government flow much more heavily to those at higher income and wealth levels than to those at the bottom. It is, I believe, appropriate that they (we) pay more.
Pay more than others or pay more than what you pay now? If it is the latter, then why not voluntarily pay more on your own?

Granddaddy
11-04-2008, 02:57 PM
Would you kindly share your source on this?.....

Have seen those stats quoted numerous times from credible sources. Went to the IRS site but didn't have time to wade through the BS so I'll provide a link to the source which quotes the IRS stats:



http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6

No need to analyze age, who files a return, etc (those would just make the stats worse). The IRS data is speaking in terms of those who filed returns. The point is our income tax system is progressive & becoming more progressive as time has passed from authorizing legislation. I've never seen an authority to tax that politicians didn't like (federal, state or local), income taxes just represent the most obvious affecting American tax payers.

Jim Drager
11-04-2008, 04:05 PM
Jim P:

You wrote:

Taxes have always been a process of redistributing wealth and every income group thinks they are the ones paying more than their fair share.


Jim---You are dead WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Your argument is fundamentally flawed from the beginning.

And, Jeff from Yardley, that is not what Taxes are for, nor is it the business of the Government to redistribute wealth in any way. Promote common welfare of a nation--yes, but not welfare as we know it today. (welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] ) Welfare in today's context also means organized efforts on the part of public or private organizations to benefit the poor, or simply public assistance. This is not the meaning of the word as used in the Constitution.Source: AHD--US Constitution On-line)

Not only does it not make logical sense (why would one work and get ahead so that the fruits of their efforts--their prosperity--are given to others?), it is against the Constitution.

I am amazed that people on these boards, who have the most to lose by socialistic redistribution of wealth, would even entertain such thoughts.

I guess every amercian should have a big truck full of dogs, or fancy camera equipment, etc., or am I suppossed to sell mine and re-distribute the proceeds? We've earned those things, or we have not.

What I am hearing on these boards is Socialism and Socialism is the not compatible with the individual liberties and other "unalienable rights" granted to the INDIVIDUALS by their creator. By definition, it is UN-American.

To promote Socialism or redistribution of wealth is a fundamentally NOT what this country was founded on, in fact the opposite. Individual liberties and rights, vs that of a Government that does not exist for "WE THE PEOPLE".

Here is what the Constition says. Pretty clear--read it.

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


Does it say anywhere that making everyone equal--by redistribution of wealth, is a power of the Government? NO! God (aka.."Their Creator") already gave you that...the Government can't do it, nor should they.

At its most basic and beautiful form, our Government should do only for the people what they themselves can not do for themselves. I fear that we Americans have been so relatively prosperous, for so long, that we have forgotten what it took (as reflected in the Constitution) to become so.

Jim Drager

Hoosier
11-04-2008, 04:28 PM
Jim very nice post, could you get around that by considering the constitution a living document?

RedHeadedHurricane
11-04-2008, 04:42 PM
I say we sell California to Mexico and Hawaii to China. Then start at square one again. Possibly buy Hawaii back when we can afford it! Just because I've never been there. That's what I'm doing with my own private possessions. Liquadate and downsize! Pulled all of my stocks as well. Gonna live off of $8712.13 a year. But I've got to learn a little more about canning. So I'm off to the other thread!

YardleyLabs
11-04-2008, 05:05 PM
Jim P:

You wrote:

Taxes have always been a process of redistributing wealth and every income group thinks they are the ones paying more than their fair share.


Jim---You are dead WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Your argument is fundamentally flawed from the beginning.
Jim is actually right. The first progressive income tax was passed in 1860 to help finance the Civil War and those earning over $10,000 paid twice the percentage of their incomes for taxes as those earning less than $10,000. If that's not redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is. Income taxes were only mildly progressive until about 1928 and the concentration of wealth grew to levels seldom seen outside of banana republics.

Beginning with the Depression income taxes were made more progressive reaching a peak differential under Eisenhower (was he a socialist?) before Kennedy engineered tax cuts that reduced the top income tax brackets in 1961. Since then, income taxes have become less and less progressive over time. Nixon introduced the earned income tax credit in 1975 which first resulted in tax credits being paid even when the value of the credit exceeded the total taxes paid. Reagan oversaw massive reductions in the higher tax brackets. He financed the cuts with the largest increases in the deficit in the nation's history only to be matched by his successor, Bush senior. He mitigated some of these losses by imposing the biggest tax increases on lower income taxpayers by more than doubling social security taxes and promptly using the resulting surplus to finance his other increases in spending to finance what Republica Eisenhower has dubbed the military industrial complex. Since that time, the concentration of income and wealth has grown dramatically with higher (top 20%) income families seeing their incomes grow at eight times the rate of growth in lower (bottom 80%) of families. We now have a concentration of wealth not seen in this country since 1928. That too strikes me as income redistribution.


And, Jeff from Yardley, that is not what Taxes are for, nor is it the business of the Government to redistribute wealth in any way. Promote common welfare of a nation--yes, but not welfare as we know it today. (welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] ) Welfare in today's context also means organized efforts on the part of public or private organizations to benefit the poor, or simply public assistance. This is not the meaning of the word as used in the Constitution.Source: AHD--US Constitution On-line)


Fundamentally, I believe that conservatives have fallen into the trap over the last 30+ years of wanting all the benefits of government for free. Fiscal conservatism, which in my mind means paying one's bills, has been dropped in favor of infinite tax cuts combined with massive increases in spending. I don't care if those increases were for welfare or defense, the bills still need to be paid. What is clear from the Heritage Foundation graphs posted earlier, is that Democratic presidents have, by and large, fulfilled that responsibility of fiscal conservatism and that Republican presidents, despite all of their rhetoric, have combined profligate spending with massive tax cuts. Bush junior pushed this approach to the max, and his administration even articulated its belief that the deficit was irrelevant. McCain's campaign unfortunately has only promised more of the same and Obama's has only been a little better when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

Personally, I believe the people, acting through their elected representatives, have the right to make decisions concerning what services they want from their government and to set priorities in how to finance those services. I do not believe that Reagan was a socialist, and I do not believe that restoring the tax rates that existed under Reagan would be an act of socialism. If that's what it takes to restore some semblance of fiscal responsibility, I personally believe we should do it. I also believe that we should reinstitute balanced budget targets that force all revenue and spending decisions to be financed on a current basis.

Jim Pickering
11-04-2008, 09:36 PM
Have seen those stats quoted numerous times from credible sources.

Great Dave, you have seen stats quoted so they must be correct. :rolleyes: Actually while the statement that 50% of the citizens do not pay taxes is a bit of an exaggeration, it is closer to accurate that I would have expected, but that does not change the though process. Even so I did learn something from this discussion tonight.

I am going to resist the temptation to make a couple snide remarks that you left yourself open to and just move on to the data. The discussion was about income and income taxes, not property and other state and local taxes. Well maybe just one snide remark. Sorry but I can find very little sympathy for you having to pay all the property taxes on your vast land holdings.

Getting back on subject, did I say the federal income tax system was not progressive? If I left that impression it was unintentional. What I was attempting to point out with the history is that our federal income tax is not nearly as progressive as it was through out most of the 20th century.

The tables on the URL you posted show only the threshold of AGI at the percentage levels. This URL by the same group has better information, but still one has to do some arithmetic to extract some of the data. http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

Since you are a busy man, I have done the arithmetic for you. The stats are for the year 2006 and AGI is Adjusted Gross Income which means that the higher the income level the more adjustments one has to his/her gross income via the loopholes provided to the big campaign contributors by our politicians. As Warren Buffet pointed out recently his secretary pays more in income tax than he does.

The top 1% of tax returns filed accounts for 22% of total AGI and pay 40% of income taxes. However, the average AGI for individuals in this category was $1,320,476. The average tax paid was $300,935 leaving these folks just $1million per year on average to live on.

The top 5% account for 37% of the AGI and 60% of taxes. The average AGI for this group was $440,558 and the average tax paid was $90,708 leaving $349,850 to live on each year.

The top 5% is skewed in that it included the top 1% so we need to look at the category including the top 2% through 5%. This category accounts for 14.6% of AGI and 20% of taxes. The average AGI was $218,434 and that average tax paid was $38,187 leaving $180,247 to live on. This is the group that I can almost sympathize with. These folks are not independently wealthy, most are working hard trying to keep up with the Jones and maybe could get a little ahead if not for the tax bill each year.

The data divided the total tax returns filed, 135,719,160, into the top 50% and bottom 50%. The top 50% accounts for 87.5% of the AGI and pays 97% of the taxes. The bottom half accounts for 12.5% of the AGI and pays 3% of the taxes.

So I will concede that the bottom half of all taxpayers pay a small percentage of the total taxes even though it is a bit of an exaggeration that 50% pay no taxes.

However, consider that the average AGI for the top 50% is $104,711 and the average tax paid is $14,636. The bottom 50% on the other hand has an average AGI of $14,978 and pays $450 in federal income tax.

Dave, I assume that you have not become a selfish, greedy individual because you were able to work hard and made a ton of money. So let me ask you how you would distribute the tax burden. How much would you like to reduce your tax rate and how much would you suggest be put on the backs of those trying to get by on under $15,000 a year.

Jim Pickering
11-04-2008, 09:56 PM
Jim---You are dead WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Your argument is fundamentally flawed from the beginning.
Jim Drager

Well, Jim why not tell me what you really think. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I did not expect to change many opinions, but was hopeful that the information would stimulate some to think. Obvious though is more difficult for some than for others.



I guess every amercian should have a big truck full of dogs, or fancy camera equipment, etc., or am I suppossed to sell mine and re-distribute the proceeds? We've earned those things, or we have not.

OK, now I understand. I can afford a chassis mount dog truck and Jeff has a nice camera which I believe he uses in his photography business. What is your point? Never mind, your comment is about as shallow as any I have seen posted on this forum.

You do a good cut and paste on the constitution. Try cutting and pasting the 16th amendment. The amendments are called amendments because they amend the constitution.


James M. Drager
CEO
The Drager Group, Inc


The Drager Group has a collective 45 years of experience in strategic and marketing planning, public relations and management.

Well all I can say is that it is a good thing that neither Jeff or I were likely potential clients of The Dragger Group. I take it that public relations is not your area of expertise with your firm. The Drager Group does explain your position.

torrey
11-04-2008, 10:36 PM
Jim is actually right. The first progressive income tax was passed in 1860 to help finance the Civil War and those earning over $10,000 paid twice the percentage of their incomes for taxes as those earning less than $10,000. If that's not redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is.


Financing a war is not redistribution of wealth. Non of the taxes during that time went to 'social assistance'

Redristribution of wealth starts when income tax dollars get distributed to the masses. Paying income taxes for defending our country, infrastructure, etc is completely different and I haven't heard people bitching about taxes for those things.

Buzz
11-04-2008, 10:41 PM
Redristribution of wealth starts when income tax dollars get distributed to the masses.


"masses"

Translation - welfare queens...

Hew
11-05-2008, 02:42 AM
OK, now I understand. I can afford a chassis mount dog truck and Jeff has a nice camera which I believe he uses in his photography business. What is your point? Never mind, your comment is about as shallow as any I have seen posted on this forum.
Thankfully, "about as shallow" left room for the possibility that there could be even more shallow comments, because you promptly raised the bar with:


Well all I can say is that it is a good thing that neither Jeff or I were likely potential clients of The Dragger Group. I take it that public relations is not your area of expertise with your firm. The Drager Group does explain your position.

Hew
11-05-2008, 02:43 AM
"masses"

Translation - welfare queens...
C'mon Buzz, say what you mean. At least ole Bruce has the stones to just out-and-out call someone a racist.

Jim Pickering
11-05-2008, 04:32 AM
OK, now I understand. I can afford a chassis mount dog truck and Jeff has a nice camera which I believe he uses in his photography business. What is your point? Never mind, your comment is about as shallow as any I have seen posted on this forum.

Thankfully, "about as shallow" left room for the possibility that there could be even more shallow comments, because you promptly raised the bar with:


Well all I can say is that it is a good thing that neither Jeff or I were likely potential clients of The Dragger Group. I take it that public relations is not your area of expertise with your firm. The Drager Group does explain your position.



You are correct; I was weak and could not resist retaliating. Obviously something you would never do, right!!

Aussie
11-05-2008, 04:40 AM
Can I ask a question please, regarding your thoughts on the next G20 summit? BTW, what a day not only for America but for the world.

Should and could Obama be invited to attend?

Jay Dufour
11-05-2008, 04:45 AM
I lost 455.00 last year.Wealth distribution please! He won....so Im lookin for it.Yea....right

Mike Noel
11-05-2008, 12:58 PM
Mike, maybe I missed it but I did not hear you complaining when George Bush gave you and me a tax cut and put the IOU on the backs of our kids and grandkids.



The remainder of your post I agree with completely. However, what I could more easily swallow and what this country needs may be mutually exclusive.

As Buzz, Jeff and I have pointed out, it amazes me that, with the facts about government spending over the past 45 years going back to Johnson, who BTW had to finance the conflict in Vietnam, the democrat party has been able to retain the label of the Tax and Spend party while the republican party has retained the label of fiscal conservatives.

Labels aside some more food for thought concerning our economy and stimulation provided by tax cuts verses tax and spend. I am not saying one is right and one is wrong, just offering what I see as some logic behind each.

JP ECON 101: You cannot push a string.

I will start with tax cuts. For most of my adult life while I have never been a card carrying member of any party, I was pretty hard core republican. The primary reason was that the Republican Party stood for fiscal responsibility which meant balanced federal budgets. The party began to loose me when it abandoned fiscal responsibility.

Back when the Republican Party and, in fact, both parties adhered fairly closely to balanced budgets we had the option of a reductions in taxes as a means of stimulating the economy. However, starting with Ronald Reagan there have been fundamental changes in government policy that have mitigated the effects of tax cuts as economic stimulus.

The idea behind a tax cut is obviously that if you and I have more money in our pockets from paying fewer taxes we will run out and spend our new found money. We will purchase products and someone will have to make the additional products so new jobs are created. Sounds great and it used to work that way, but no so much today.

Starting with Bill Clinton we got NAFTA which was the start of “Free Trade” agreements pushed hard by both parties. I have lost count of how many “free trade” deals have been approved under George Bush but there have been several. Free trade has a nice ring to it, but what exactly is free trade. Free trade is a deal under which the US drops all import tariffs on good coming in from foreign countries which allows large US companies to move manufacturing facilities to countries with much lower labor cost. It is really that simple. If you own stock in these companies maybe this is good given their profits increase due to much lower labor cost. However, if you worked for one of these companies and lost your job it is not so good.

So getting back to the tax cuts, instead of stimulating our economy when we spend the new found money, to a significant extent we are stimulating the economies of China, India, Mexico and other low wage countries where the products we buy are made. The US economy has not gotten the full impact of the tax cuts.

Next let’s look at who got the tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts and the proposed continuation by McCain skewed the tax cuts to the top 5%. I for one certainly appreciate the extra money, but I have to tell you that we were getting by reasonably well before the Bush tax cuts. In fact we are spending no more after the tax cut than before as I suspect is the case with most in the higher tax brackets. The money for us goes to make the annual addition to the IRA, to make a couple extra house payments or into another CD but very little is actually spent on goodies that would stimulate the economy.

So the distribution of the tax cuts is the second problem. For tax cuts to have a meaningful stimulating effect on our economy even 25+ years back those cuts needed to go to all levels and especially to middle and lower income levels; the folks who are in desperate need for a new pare of shoes for the kid or new tires for the old car. Skewing the cuts to the top mitigates the effect proportionally. One can argue that giving the tax cuts to the top 5% of taxpayers creates investment and therefore new jobs. True to the extent that top percent are the owners of small business that can grow in a weak economy, but as pointed out above much of that money goes into the stocks of large companies and much of that gets invested overseas.

To these two complications add the fact that Reagan, Bush and Bush have already put the citizens of this country under $10.8 Trillion in debt and that was before the $1.6 Trillion in bailout obligations. As I posted earlier I do not know what the number is, but there is no doubt that at some point this country will collapse under the IOUs hung on the necks of the citizens to be paid in the future.

Now let’s look at the tax and spend method of stimulation. First of all there is still that monumental national debt to be concerned about, but if any additional spending is covered by additional taxes the debt does not increase so that burden remains static so long as interest rates do not increase.

On the positive side to the extent that the government spends money within the USA on such things as improvements or repair to infrastructure including roads, water systems, etc 100% of the money goes to toward stimulating our economy and to create jobs at home. Even a national health care program will have a stimulating effect. Given that 40% of the estimated 300 million citizens can not now afford health care do to lack of insurance we will need doctors, nurses, medical office space and hospital space for approximately 122 million new patients.

Bottom line, the government can give people tax cuts, but cannot make them spend the money especially when they are hunkered down wishing they did not have so much debt and wondering how bad it is going to get. The government cannot push the string. The government can however pull the string by collecting the money in taxes and spending within the borders of this country.

Again, I am not saying what is right or wrong, but offering some food for though from a prospective I have not seen on this forum. While we may not like it our economy is in trouble and IMHO tax and spend will have a far greater impact on stimulating our economy that continuing tax cuts of the same magnitude.

Jim,

I dont have time for a long answer, you know how busy I have been.

First, I did not complain about the tax cut and suffice it to say I have spent a large multiple of those dollars by investing in my new company and spending it on my family (easy to to with 4 boys!). If Bush would have kept Clintons tax rates and we kept running surpluses I would have been fine with that. If he would have kept those rates and decided to pass out money to low income folks and run a deficit I would have bitched to high heaven!

In the long run I still believe that the best thing we can do for our country is to get our deficits and debt under control. Sure the short term pain could be severe but its a "pay now or pay later" scenario and the pay later option is going to be a whole lot more expensive for future generations. If we dont start now when do we? Interest rates are going to go up. We are getting ready to sell an unprecedented amount of treasury notes in the near future. Add in the fact that we are down to 17 primary dealers (I think we had 30 or 31 when I started in the bond business in 1990) and we have a recipe for much higher rates in the near future. As I mentioned to you privately, as soon as the Fed can they are going to raise rates so we dont have the potential for a Greenspan type bubble....it may be a year or two, depending how deep this recession goes, but it is going to happen eventually.

If you have a friend with is over his head with credit card debt do you tell him to stop getting his Starbucks everyday or do you tell him to cut the card? You tell him to cut the card!

We are so spoiled here in the US that God-forbid anyone go through any short term pain for long term gain. Sure, this country needs to spend a little to help shorten the depth of this recession but giving out money to people wont have any long lasting effects.

I am willing to go through the pain of higher taxes if it were put to good use. Invest in infrastructure, pay down the debt, do things that have lasting value. Stimulus checks are worthless long term.

Dont get me going on healthcare. We cant get the folks coming out of med school now to go into general practice because it doesnt pay enough and there are too may headaches with Medicare etc. The medical staffing firm that is next door to my company says no one wants to be a doctor any more because the pay is not worth the hassle.....doctor compensation would probably go down under national healthcare which would make that problem worse.....but, if doctor comp does go up then its a bigger expenditure for our country.....another conundrum. Additionally, I would suspect that a good portion of those 40% that dont have healthcare already receive treatment at county hospitals and such. My wife is a trauma ICU nurse at a public facility like that and they have very FEW folks come through that have insurance. So I would not expect a big bump from those "new patients"....plus, I hope I dont get sick if THAT many folks are going to be jamming up all of the waiting rooms all of a sudden!

All of the above is my personal opinion which ain't worth much and is probably both right and wrong!

PS. Munis are getting more expensive everyday now ;)