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View Poll Results: What are your yearly earnings?

Voters
286. You may not vote on this poll
  • Less than $25k

    9 3.15%
  • $26k - $50k

    35 12.24%
  • $51k - $75k

    47 16.43%
  • $76k - $100k

    64 22.38%
  • $101k - $125k

    46 16.08%
  • $126k - $150k

    31 10.84%
  • $151k - $175k

    10 3.50%
  • $176k - $200k

    10 3.50%
  • $201k - $250k

    8 2.80%
  • $251k or more

    26 9.09%
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Thread: RTF Income Distribution Poll GDG....

  1. #61
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    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.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Jim Pickering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JS View Post
    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??

    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.
    Jim Pickering

  3. #63
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    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.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Jim Pickering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    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.
    Jim Pickering

  5. #65
    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Pickering View Post
    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.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    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
    When the one you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.

  7. #67
    Edbuck
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    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.

  8. #68
    Senior Member Jim Pickering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Noel View Post
    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.
    Jim Pickering

  9. #69
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    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?

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Pickering View Post
    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.
    David Didier, GA

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