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View Poll Results: What are your yearly earnings?

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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. #71
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    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
    James M. Drager
    CEO
    The Drager Group, Inc
    610-913-6555

  2. #72
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Jim very nice post, could you get around that by considering the constitution a living document?

  3. #73
    Senior Member RedHeadedHurricane's Avatar
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    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!
    That's right baby and I'm a CAT 5!

  4. #74
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Drager View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Drager View Post
    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.

  5. #75
    Senior Member Jim Pickering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granddaddy View Post
    Have seen those stats quoted numerous times from credible sources.
    Great Dave, you have seen stats quoted so they must be correct. 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

  6. #76
    Senior Member Jim Pickering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Drager View Post
    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.
    Jim Pickering

  7. #77
    Senior Member torrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    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.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by torrey View Post
    Redristribution of wealth starts when income tax dollars get distributed to the masses.

    "masses"

    Translation - welfare queens...
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

    Raven - Moneybird's Black Magic Marker***
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    Mick - Moneybird's Jumpin' Jack Flash***
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    Peerless - Moneybird's Sole Survivor
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  9. #79
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #80
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    "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.

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