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A quarter of U.S. millionaires pay lower taxes than some in the middle class, the Congressional...

A quarter of U.S. millionaires pay lower taxes than some in the middle class, the Congressional Research Service reports. The average tax rate for households earning $1M-plus was 30.5%, vs. 24.6% paid on average by families earning less than $250K, but several paid close to 24% - at times lower than taxes paid by middle-income families that didn't benefit from deductions.
Comments (40)
  • mfranciscovich
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    would that be because they've utilized charitable giving breaks and invested wisely (ie the long term capital gains rate)
    13 Oct 2011, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • DagnyTaggart
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    That is precisely what the argument is about. Why should millionaires pay 15% on capital gains while someone making $35k is paying 19% (roughly 10% blended income tax rate and 9% FICA).

     

    Its not that millionaires are paying too little, but that low and middle classes are taxed to much. If we just cut back to "tax-and-spend" Bill Clinton levels we could cut $25 trillion over then next 10 years vs. the paltry $2-$4 trillion Congress (Democrats and Republicans alike) claim to be draconian.
    13 Oct 2011, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • Blackbeard
    , contributor
    Comments (108) | Send Message
     
    I think that is the case with many of the $1MM income households. Very few people actually pull a straight paycheck of that level in a given year. Many are cashing out of a long-held investment and receive the preferential capital gains rate. The tax code includes many deductions for behaviors the government wishes to encourage (charitable donations, environmentally friendly upgrades, etc...). The $1MM households that paid less than 24.6% likely had a large portion of income attributed to capital gains or utilized a large number of deductions. Those that were in the $250k households that paid at the high end of their tax bracket likely took advantage of very little of these two items.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (703) | Send Message
     
    The argument is that once a majority of Americans pay little or nothing towards revenue generation, they have nothing to lose in voting for more and more spending. It is a dangerous feedback loop which threatens our democracy. Isn't it already obvious that politics has turned into a contest to see which candidate will promise more stuff for average person?
    13 Oct 2011, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10454) | Send Message
     
    I guess my simple comment would be stop moaning and groaning and change the tax code. Until you change the tax code, nothing is going to change and all people do is complain about the legal reality.

     

    So you don't like the dividend tax rate....you do realize that the corporations already paid taxes on that income before it was paid to shareholders, so the net tax rate on a corp dividend is more liek 50%.

     

    Your comment is over simplified. A "millionaire" person who has a million in "earnings" (whatever that means) may have income from many different sources, not just wages. And yet your compare them to someone who is just making wages. People with million dollar incomes pay FICA and Medicare, state and local taxes, etc.....so what? Are you just saying it ain't fair they pay 15% on dividends?

     

    And...just to be accurate, FICA is a shared expense with the employer contributing to your SS retirement benefit....although it the employer doesn't get credited to your SS earnings statement if I remember correctly. Regardless....the employee doesn't pay 1/2 of the FICA and Medicare taxes, the employer does.
    13 Oct 2011, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • DagnyTaggart
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    Remember these studies don't count FICA (9% for those under $100k) as "income" tax even though it effectively is. Once FICA is factored in lower incomes do pay higher tax rates.
    13 Oct 2011, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    Dagny,

     

    I thought paying for Social Security was supposed to be a form of forced savings?

     

    Isn't that why we get an annual statement showing us how large our pensions will be in the future based upon our contributions?

     

    Supposedly money you put in is invested on your behalf so that you can get a pension when you retire - as in you get your money back and more for the 6% or so that you contribute.

     

    Last time I checked "taxes" aren't returned back to you with interest when you retire.

     

    Unless you believe that people should not be responsible for paying for their Social Security pensions this is a non-sequitur.

     

    Using the name of one of Any Rand's greatest protagonists as your avatar and arguing a polar opposite viewpoint to hers is pretty dishonest in my opinion.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • DagnyTaggart
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    The amount you pay is based on income. The money is spent immediately through the general government fund. Sounds like a tax to me.

     

    I do not think people should not be responsible for social security. Benefits for the elderly and disabled should be based on individual savings and charity, not the goverment through forced redistribution. I don't see how this is polar opposite of Rand's viewpoint.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    Dagny,

     

    The amount you pay is used to fund your social security retirement account - savings for you.

     

    "I do not think people should not be responsible for social security. Benefits for the elderly and disabled should be based on individual savings and charity, not the goverment through forced redistribution. I don't see how this is polar opposite of Rand's viewpoint."

     

    You are arguing two different things here one of which I generally agree with. However,the issue is whether Social Security contributions are a "tax" like regular taxes, and unless I have been deluded, the government says Social Security is a savings account - a "Lockbox".

     

    The fact that they use the money as part of the general revenues of the government means they are used like taxes but to most people they are savings. The Treasury is "owed" the money by the government that borrows it to fund current expenditures. This is not a "tax" under the definition being used by everyone involved in the discussion.

     

    The fact that there shouldn't be any Social Security program belies the fact that we actually have one which means accepting things as they are today not as we want them to be. Getting rid of Social Security will never happen in this country unless we get taken over by a foreign power.

     

    How we fund it could change and I guess that's where Cain comes in - we need tax reform.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • DagnyTaggart
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    You are being deluded if you honestly consider an IOU from the government to the government savings. The "lockbox" owns only US government bonds. They are "borrowing" from social security now to fund current general government obligations.
    13 Oct 2011, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    Social Security payments will be made to those who are entitled to the benefits - contributors will receive their money back so for them it is a good deal. To a person who has made contributions and then gets them back with a higher return this is savings not taxes.

     

    When has a Social Security recipient not received a payment they have been entitled to receive?

     

    The Treasury can print all the money necessary to meet the Social Security obligations in the future under our Fiat currency system so there is no risk it won't be paid - what is at risk is what that payment will be worth in the future and the value of our dollar.

     

    This is bizarre but true.

     

    Cullen Roche at Pragcap.com, covers this issue in great detail in his MMT primer.

     

    It seems like you are mixing political interpretation with the actual definition that is under use so I guess that's the root of the disagreement. The question being raised by this article is based upon who pays more in Federal Income taxes and that's what my responses are focused on.

     

    I pay zero state taxes here in Florida.

     

    I don't disagree that we are well underfunded and that means general taxes will be much higher in the future to fund the Social Security obligations we are creating today.

     

    I think we agree more than disagree and I apologize if I came across as harsh.
    13 Oct 2011, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • bkpark
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    Hm. That seems a little higher than I thought. If I have my numbers right, a quarter of millionaires is a little under 1 million people ... and Buffett himself said that the Buffett rule *he* proposed (not the one Obama proposed) would apply to perhaps 50,000 or so people who earn high income *and* low taxes on those income (due to hedge fund manager tax loophole, for example).
    13 Oct 2011, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Terry330
    , contributor
    Comments (867) | Send Message
     
    Cain's 999 tax scheme is just another way to raise taxes on middle class and poor. This is class warfare in its simplest.
    13 Oct 2011, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    Dear Obamabot,

     

    Why not try thinking for yourself?

     

    The President took more money from Wallstreet, lawyers and the lobbying community than any other candidate in history and more than twice what McCain raised from these sources.

     

    http://bit.ly/nnhtuS
    13 Oct 2011, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (703) | Send Message
     
    A majority of Americans have no "skin in the game", and have no reason to vote for spending reductions. Since the 1960s, when Johnson declared the "War on Poverty" and the "Great Society", this country has spent $16T on welfare programs:

     

    http://bit.ly/nce9rh

     

    That's roughly the same amount as our national debt. In fact, the federal government revenue that is collected just about pays for entitlements, about $2.4T. The rest of our budget, the so called discretionary spending, like education, energy, military, agriculture, etc., etc., must be borrowed. Even the interest payed on the borrowed money is payed using, guess what, more borrowed money.

     

    The bottom line, has $16T in welfare spending uplifted the lower class in this country? Of course not. You can't give people free stuff and expect things to change. In fact, no matter what you do, there will always exist a bottom 20% and top 20%. That's human nature. And as long as the lower 50% has nothing to lose from ever increasing spending, they will continue to vote for it. It is a dangerous trend, perhaps the most serious issue facing this democracy.

     

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville 1834
    13 Oct 2011, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    "than some in the middle class"

     

    How about the fact that $250k is hardly middle-class. Secondly "some" is about one of the most used Weasel Words you can find - what a joke!

     

    What's the effective tax rate on income less than $100k?

     

    The answer to that question is more informative than a tendentious study which doesn't prove anything other than the bias of those presenting the data.

     

    Yes "some" as in more than 1 and less than whatever may pay less than the undefined "middle class" but so what?

     

    Do you design broad based tax policy for exceptions?

     

    Anyway this whole issued has been debunked by the IRS's own stats by a variety of papers including rags like the Washington Post that you can tell this is just a desperate attempt to divide the country once again - class warfare pure and simple.

     

    Assets are what define the rich not income.
    13 Oct 2011, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    Our family income is over 250K and we are most definitely are middle class. We both work in IT and live in a regular house. We do save for retirement and kids education, though, unlike most of the middle class people I know, who spend more on vacations, pool, cars and so on. Is ability to save for retirement now puts us into "rich" category?
    13 Oct 2011, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • bkpark
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    Having grown up in a family that made nowhere near $250k, I'd say $250k is, at a minimum, upper middle class, if not actually "rich" (in fact, I don't think I personally know anybody who makes $250k; not even my boss).

     

    OTOH, it's not such an arbitrary cut-off point. That's the cut-off Democrats propose for their "millionaires' tax" ($250k for single filer; $500k for joint).
    13 Oct 2011, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > if not actually "rich" (in fact, I don't think I personally know anybody who makes $250k; not even my boss).

     

    My definition of "rich" is not having to work for the living if you are inclined so. If I stop working. I'll become poor in a hurry. At this point, after 20 years of working, we don't have enough savings to live of "rent". Especially with interest rates at 0%. If you go dividend route and assume about 5% div taxed at 20%, that is about 4% effective dividend rate. To get to just 50K a year on 4% dividend you need 1,250,000 in savings. Plus, iof you actually factor 2% inflation each year, you need about 2 mil in savings to get to 50K real money vs. nominal. How do you get to 2 mil over 20-30 years working life ? It is hard even with 250K, because about 40% of that money already goes into various taxes - federal, state, property, sales. If you save 20K each year, in the last 10years of the flat market it is only 400K, far cry from 2 million.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3531) | Send Message
     
    "Assets are what define the rich not income"

     

    Why is this such a hard concept for so many to understand? A Paris Hilton trust fund baby can live a grand life style with very little income that is taxable. The only net worth tax we have is the inheritance tax which Warren Buffet will avoid through a charitable fund that will not help poor Americans. We have an income tax only because it is easy to collect by making third parties (employers) responsible for its collection.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • bkpark
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    I disagree. Operative definition of "rich" is in someone's lifestyle.

     

    If a family of 4 lives in a 5-bedroom house, 2 or more of them drive cars worth $30k or more, always have latest gadgets and what are usually considered luxury spending, then this family is rich (or somewhere in upper middle class).

     

    Here's what I find wrong about your definition: according to your definition, it doesn't matter how much someone earns: as long as they manage to spend it all somehow, they aren't rich.

     

    OTOH, even if you earn "only" $50k a year, if you manage to save a substantial portion of it for a long time (say, half of that for 40 years) to provide for your children, somehow that person is "rich" and his success should be punished, as many Democrats propose.

     

    There's something wrong with a definition of "rich" that proposes to put savers at a disadvantage over spenders.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > I disagree. Operative definition of "rich" is in someone's lifestyle

     

    I can go and borrow a million dollars and spend it all and appear to be rich. But how do I pay it back? That is the issue with too many people. They appear to berich but they ahve nothing to retire on, they ahve no savings. Living "rich" for a few years doesn't make anyone rich.
    You definitely have to lookat the assets, not income for defnition of who is rich.
    13 Oct 2011, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • joro_ianev
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    >>>You definitely have to lookat the assets, not income for defnition of who is rich.<<<

     

    This is ludicrous logic. Borrowing $1M does NOT constitute income. And as bkpark pointed out, there are families out there who tailor their consumption to their income and manage to save even at low income points. I know several such families. Your schema will punish the savers and reward the spenders. It is not society's problem if someone spends his entire income during his lifetime and has nothing for his retirement. Let him starve; it would be a great example for future generations and you will see the saving rate shoot up. If you continue to pamper the spenders and continuously take from the savers you will have what we have right now -- a huge debt, no savings and a lot of hands with tin cups.
    13 Oct 2011, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • bkpark
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    "I can go and borrow a million dollars and spend it all and appear to be rich."

     

    If people will let you borrow a million dollars. I'm talking about reality here, not fantasy. Someone who has no significant source of income (present or future) and no collateral will not (or at least should not) be able to borrow substantial sums of money that lets them live a life of luxury.
    13 Oct 2011, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • inthemoney
    , contributor
    Comments (981) | Send Message
     
    > . Your schema will punish the savers and reward the spenders. It is not society's problem if someone spends his entire income during his lifetime and has nothing for his retirement

     

    You just read the first sentence out of the whole conversation and went berserk. I was explaining why definition of rich should be tied to assets instead of income. It is the definition accepted in the whole world. The pople look at how much money you have in the bank, not on how much you make to figure out whether you are rich or not.
    As for punishing savers - tell me has it not already been the US official policy for the last 10 years, with its ultra-low interest rates? Put everyone into speculation and borrowing, punish savers. I am the one trying to be prudent and save here, so that taxpayers don't have to pay for me in my old age. But it is very difficult right now. Plus, because our family income is 250K+ everyone wants to tax us more, even though we are just average folks with young children, who we are trying to raise to be productive future citizens while working full time. Fine, tax us more since apparently you feel that 40% of my income already going into various taxes and fees is not enough. I am just one person, I cannot do anything against the majority of the US population, who is always looking to get something for nothing. Then I'll have 2 choices for retirement - leave the country and spend my retirement money elsewhere where it can buy more ( thus no support for the US economy) or rely on the support of the US taxpayer. Either case is a loss of wealth for the US.
    13 Oct 2011, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • bkpark
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    This is really what's with the rhetorical bombs being thrown around here. There are *a lot* of people who want to label you "rich" (remember the median income in U.K. is something around $40k; and for most people, anyone who earns substantially more than they do is "rich")---you propose a definition that would *avoid* labeling you rich, but, well, I've given you my objection to it.

     

    The only way to win here is not to play the game of rich-bashing; if we decide that the rich do not need to be punished, then it doesn't matter who is defined as "rich".

     

    There is really only one fair tax system: a flat tax (be it income or consumption tax; 'doesn't matter). As long as the rate is flat, everyone will be paying according to their ability.

     

    Perhaps there should be *some* provisions to ensure that there's some minimal social safety net, but there should be a real aversion to mess with the flat and fair nature of this tax code (either for social engineering purposes or for electoral purposes).
    13 Oct 2011, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • joro_ianev
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    >>>You just read the first sentence out of the whole conversation and went berserk.<<<

     

    Not really, I read your entire 'conversation.' You kept repeating how income did not matter and it was assets you wanted to go after. And I am NOT arguing that our current tax code isn't screwed up or that we don't overtax our productive population already -- I believe we should reverse course on both. My point was that your definition of 'rich' is not accurate. That's all.
    13 Oct 2011, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • joro_ianev
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    That's the right spirit. Let's stop focusing on the 'rich' and how much more we can tax them; they pay enough already. Let's look at our screwed up system of overspending and take a good hacking at it. $700 billion for defense? Cut that to $70 billion? TSA? Disband. Department of Energy? Disband. Department of Education? Disband. Free money to municipalities and states for pet projects? None to be had. Federal Reserve? Cut 90% of staff, no bailout authority, no quantitative easing. Bring the gold standard or tie to a basket of commodities. Department of Agriculture? Stop asking, disband.

     

    Cutting a deficit is easy. We all do it daily in our lives. You just people with resolve to push through the myriad of special interests.
    13 Oct 2011, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • RyanH
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    I do not beleive it could be stated any better conventional wisdumb. I almost fell of my cvhair luaghing this morning when I read this article. As soon as the word "some" is used, it is no longer objective data, but sensationalist reporting. And yes, I make "some" less than $100k a year. :)
    13 Oct 2011, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (356) | Send Message
     
    Again the overlooked and misleading word is tax "rate" as opposed to total volume of taxes paid. Some-body is paying more than their share of taxes to support the 47% who pay NO taxes. Let's see corresponding figures in percentages of total taxes paid.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Mad_Max_A_Million
    , contributor
    Comments (1175) | Send Message
     
    Ah, yes - Class warfare is now a populists issue thanks to Obama,
    dictators that praise it, like Arm-a-didy-jad, Chavez, Pelosi,
    anti-American losers like Michael moor and Hairless Belafonte.
    The list goes on and on.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • joro_ianev
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    Sensational reporting. All in support of Obama's current agenda to drive class warfare and hike up taxes. Same tactic was used on Goldman a year back -- throw mud, create a villian, get what you want. This war isn't about 'helping poor people' -- something charities does MUCH better than Washington. It is about helping the DC ruling crowd get more money in their hands. Some of it does indeed go to support people that don't want to work; some even reaches people that are indeed down on their luck and need help. But some of it, and a big SUM too, goes to government workers who live cozy lifestyle with minimal effort.
    13 Oct 2011, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3165) | Send Message
     
    We don't need more and more articles proclaiming all this nonsense. Yes, there are millionaires that have special loopholes.... given to them by the paid and bribed politicians. The answer is simple..... get rid of all deductions and leave the tax code progressive..... with everyone paying something..... and those at the top paying more in percentages than those below. So say 1% under 20K, 3% under 40K, 9% under 75K, 15% under 125K, 20% under 200K, 25% under 500K, 33% over 500K. Make the numbers whatever you'd like just make sure there are ZERO deductions.

     

    Then we can focus on the real problem...... CUTTING SPENDING!!!!!
    13 Oct 2011, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10454) | Send Message
     
    David....I love you man. Triple Likes

     

    -----^-----, -----^----- and one I gave you in the thumbs up box.
    13 Oct 2011, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • joro_ianev
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    davidbdc,

     

    I agree on the closure of loopholes. I don't agree on the progressivity scale. Why should a percent be paying a higher percentage the more than make? There should be a flat tax with no deductions. Period.
    14 Oct 2011, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3165) | Send Message
     
    I believe in a progessive tax code for several reasons.... a few include:

     

    1. Everyone should contribute to their communities.... most of those at the top of the income scale have little time to give when compared to those below them (and yes its a generalization). So those at the top can contribute more money.

     

    2. Setting aside our current crony capitalism.... The USA is a place where through determination and hard work you can get ahead. I believe that those of us that benefit the most from our freedoms should contribute the most to maintaining those freedoms for the next generation.

     

    3. Greater success brings greater responsibility.

     

    I don't have a problem with a flat tax when compared to our current system - it would be a big improvement. And I do believe that everyone has to contribute something. But I do believe those that benefit most from our freedoms should contribute more.
    14 Oct 2011, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • joro_ianev
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    >>>But I do believe those that benefit most from our freedoms should contribute more.<<<

     

    A flat tax accomplishes that. The higher the income, the more dollars you pay. I am sure you can do the math.

     

    In fact all your three points are satisfied by the flat tax! :-) I do have an issue with #1 though. Have you been to charity auctions? Don't tell me you saw poor people there; after all buying a $10 bottle of wine for $70 requires disposable income. This is just one example of many I, and I am sure others as well, can offer. Most of the events in my community are carried out by non-working wives and you know those don't come cheap (the comment may sound wrong, but is meant as a point that only well-earning households can afford to forgo the second income). Finally, the city of Detroit has almost 30% unemployment, but you will hardly see many unpaid volunteers from the city, despite the fact many people arguably have plenty of time to spare.
    14 Oct 2011, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (703) | Send Message
     
    Until everyone has skin in the game, spending will never be reduced. Even the so called cuts being proposed by the super committee are only reductions in the growth of spending. Even with $1.5T in cuts, actual spending will still grow by 5-7% every year.

     

    As hard as it is to understand, as hard as it seems on the lower class, we must have a system where everyone participates in revenue generation. Otherwise, our political system will go open loop. Right now, the top 0.1% pay more in federal taxes than the lower 80%, even though the lower 80% earns 6 times more than the top 0.1%. What incentive does the lower 80% or the lower 50% have to actually reduce spending?

     

    A flat tax will ultimately help the economy and break the cycle of government dependence. The irony is that many successful people from all walks of life want to make the tax system even more progressive. Like Buffet, we can only speculate that once you become fabulously successful you either begin to feel guilty about how you got there, or you begin to think that you are so smart that you should impose your beliefs on everyone else. Like Buffet making a fortune pushing cigarette stocks and promoting their addictive advantages. It's easy to be magnanimous when you are filthy rich and never again have to worry.
    13 Oct 2011, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • MarcoVB
    , contributor
    Comments (15) | Send Message
     
    The trouble with the current tax code is that it punishes success and talent by way of its progressive nature. The more successful you are the more the tax code punishes you unless you reach such levels of success where you can start to hide all your income from the tax man.

     

    While it may not be fair that WB has a lower tax rate than someone making $30K for example, how much has the person making $30K contributed to society in terms of job creation, exports, corporate taxes, philanthropy etc? Either way WB still pays vastly more across his empire in taxes than 1M million people making $30K a year!

     

    While I am no advocate of lower tax rates for Billionaires some perspective is needed.

     

    Wasn't our beef with our colonial masters that we were taxed but enjoyed no representation? How is the progressive tax system any less repugnant in this light? Perhaps we should all be given a weighted vote based upon our contribution to the Federal coffers? Or, perhaps a more palatable solution that would have the added benefit of getting rid of the bloated tax code would be to give everyone the same tax rate (via a flat tax with no deductions and no exemptions) and the same vote.

     

    If you find the idea interesting read more about why so do many of the countries brightest economists http://www.fairtax.org/
    13 Oct 2011, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3165) | Send Message
     
    While there is some validity to your theory, here's why I believe a progressive tax structure is preferable (and needed). And I should say I'm a free market capitalist and have no issue with people earning tons of money as long as they are really earning it (and not getting it by bribing idiot politicians)

     

    1. We have the opportunity in America to earn more than in most countries on the face of the earth. You can be anyone, begin at the bottom, fail many times. Those opportunities exist due to our constitution, government, and societal acceptance.

     

    2. Life isn't fair. We shouldn't kid ourselves that we have a meritocracy. I don't want to pick on her, but Chelsea Clinton being named to a corporate board should give you an idea of what I'm driving at. I'm sure she's a smart woman - but so are about 10 million other people that have far more experience and successes than her. But they don't have the last name Clinton.

     

    3. Many opportunities exist because they are facilitated by government. Zoning permits, licensing requirements, etc, etc often ensure a few have more opportunity than the rest to earn money from ventures.

     

    4. Public education (putting aside the treasonist teacher's unions) provides a deep pool of talented and capable employees.

     

    5. Taxes aren't the only contribution to a society or community. Those further down the wage scale devote more of their time to community endeavors (as a general rule) than those at the top (whom often simply don't have the time). Therefore asking them to kick in some percentage more in taxes seems fair to me.

     

    6. Within reason, a few percentage points higher tax rates on those at the top isn't going to "slow them down" so to speak - they want to be rich and will keep working. But, we need to be aware that there are limits and when combined with dealing with regulations and bureaucrats some people who create wealth will decide they've had enough.

     

    Everyone should contribute, those that most enjoy the fruits of our freedoms should pay the most. All IMO of course.
    13 Oct 2011, 07:11 PM Reply Like
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