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  1. "The rich" and the greedy corporations hold the solution to all our revenue problems, do they not? We just need to shake those trees a little harder, and collect some of those golden apples that rightfully belong to us.

    Let's see how much we can get:

    http://sandiegopatriots.com/2011/04/16/what-if-we-took-all-the-money-from-the-rich/

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:34 PM #
  2. warner

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    Posts: 1,376

    As my wife often says to me,

    "What is wrong with you???"

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:51 PM #
  3. Is that question in reference to the video, warner? Did you watch it?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:53 PM #
  4. warner

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    Posts: 1,376

    It's in reference to you posting this. It's kind of ridiculous. No one is proposing that. And, you've posted from a Tea Party website. Instant non-credibility. I kind of wish you'd get some new material, I think you actually have a good mind and are fairly intelligent, but you keep banging the same drum(s).

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:57 PM #
  5. Warner, it's just a hypothetical to prove a point. Just because it is linked to a tea-party site doesn't mean they are not using facts, and if you dispute the numbers they use, let us know which ones.

    I bring it up because "the rich" are the ones so often targeted here because it is assumed they have sufficient resources to fix our problems.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 02:07 PM #
  6. edselehr

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    Posts: 3,177

    Yea, F&B, what's your point? I know of no one advocating for anywhere near this kind of money grab from the rich. Plus, the video is inherently misleading, putting the entire cost of government only on those entities they cite, when in fact much of the cost of government is born by average people.

    The right sure enjoys building strawmen.

    Edit add: The rich cannot "solve all our problems" but they can at least help us pull out of this economic tailspin we are in. Why shouldn't they?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 02:08 PM #
  7. "Edit add: The rich cannot "solve all our problems" but they can at least help us pull out of this economic tailspin we are in. Why shouldn't they?"

    The total earnings over $250K is $1.4 trillion.

    How much more of that should go to taxes that is not already going there, and how much will it help? (And note that you will have to take into consideration the impact of removing those funds from the economy).

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 02:14 PM #
  8. edselehr

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    Posts: 3,177

    Yes it does put it in perspective.

    First of all, the video never says what exactly all that "taking" is paying for, but I assume it's all federal expenditures over a year (including SS and Medicare/Medicaid) but it's amazing that the corporations and the rich (1.63% of American households) can essentially fund ALL national services for a fully year.

    They have a lot of money. A Lot.

    But no one is asking the rich to solve all our problems at once. Wouldn't you agree that they should contribute a bit more (maybe raising their top tier tax rate from 34% to 39%, for example?) to help us eliminate our national debt over time? We've been cutting for years now - look at class size, police and fire staffing, infrastructure deterioration - and now we have to start to pay more.

    Why does government even exist? Not to serve the rich, but to serve the people. If serving the rich helps all the people do better, then that's fine, help the rich out. But trickle-down has proven to be a failed economic theory. It certainly isn't working now.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 02:35 PM #
  9. So if we increase all taxes above $250k by 5%, we get an additional $.07 trillion in revenue, which would be 2% of federal spending (or about 1/2 of one percent of the national debt).

    So the rich could close the gap only slightly, and this is not taking into consideration that there would be some losses in revenue from others, due to the impact of taking those funds out of the marketplace.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 02:53 PM #
  10. "Why does government even exist? Not to serve the rich, but to serve the people."

    You mention raising taxes from 34% to 39%.

    How is it serving the rich to take over one third of their income? It seems they are the ones doing the serving, whether at 34% or 39%.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:03 PM #
  11. Notalent

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    This is right up there with the "massive" savings we'd get from cutting the DoD budget in half.

    When in fact the DoD budget is 663.8 Billion, including wars, half of that is chump change when we are talking 14 trillion in debt.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:14 PM #
  12. outsider

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    ....What if we took EVERYTHING from the rich?....

    Then they'd be poorer than us.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:27 PM #
  13. duxrule

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    Posts: 4,915

    The Bush tax cuts are one of the great reasons for the current and the future deficit. Eliminating them wouldn't fix everything, but that certainly wouldn't hurt.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/92569/bush-obama-deficit-tax-cut-stimulus-health

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:27 PM #
  14. "This is right up there with the "massive" savings we'd get from cutting the DoD budget in half.

    When in fact the DoD budget is 663.8 Billion, including wars, half of that is chump change when we are talking 14 trillion in debt."

    From what I can determine the cost of the Iraq war has averaged $80 billion per year. We don't need to count Afghanistan as an expensive war, since Obama deemed it to be a good one. $80 billion is just 2.3% of the budget. Not insignificant, but not at a level that would break the bank.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:39 PM #
  15. Andrew

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    F&B, why don't we end all taxation on anyone making over a million dollars a year? Isn't that what you really want? Let's just tax the working poor more to make up for it.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:49 PM #
  16. Andrew, I never suggested anything like that. The point is that if you squeeze the rich more, you're not going to get so much more out of them that it would make a significant impact.

    But they are used as scapegoats to score political points.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:52 PM #
  17. Andrew

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    F&B: Andrew, I never suggested anything like that

    I was posting that to make a point: if we don't tax the wealthy enough, our deficit problems will be worse. Since you started this thread with an equally absurd notion that no one has ever proposed, I thought this was the best way to get my point across to you.

    If we can't solve our deficit problems by increasing taxes on the wealthy, why tax them at all - wasn't that your "point?"

    Or could it be that we'd at least make our deficit smaller if we made the wealthy pay a little more - starting with the rates they paid under Bill Clinton? Make them pay the marginal tax rate again on their dividend earnings instead of a flat 15%?

    If we can't solve our deficit problems completely, should we not even bother?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:58 PM #
  18. duxrule

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    Posts: 4,915

    "Andrew, I never suggested anything like that. The point is that if you squeeze the rich more, you're not going to get so much more out of them that it would make a significant impact.

    But they are used as scapegoats to score political points."

    That's a fallacy. Asking them to pay taxes at the same rate as they did under the Clinton administration is hardly "scapegoating." What IS a fact? Federal tax rates are at historic LOWS:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/18/federal-tax-rate_n_850374.html

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:02 PM #
  19. "If we can't solve our deficit problems by increasing taxes on the wealthy, why tax them at all - wasn't that your "point?""

    The point is that additional tax revenues will have to come from the rest of us. The rich don't have enough to fund everything and certainly not enough to take care of the deficit.

    "If we can't solve our deficit problems by increasing taxes on the wealthy, why tax them at all - wasn't that your "point?""

    If you raise taxes on the wealthy by 10% on the income over $250K, you will generate enough revenue to cover 1% of the deficit.

    The revenue will therefore have to come from the masses (those who are productive).

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:06 PM #
  20. Andrew

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    F&B: If you raise taxes on the wealthy by 10% on the income over $250K, you will generate enough revenue to cover 1% of the deficit.

    Most people are suggesting a much larger tax hike than that: back to the 39% rate they paid under Clinton, instead of the gift George W. Bush gave them in 2003 with the drop to 15% on their dividend income. So that's a rate increase of almost 24% (or more than doubling their rate, depending on how you look at it).

    Even so, isn't it silly to argue that we shouldn't bother to increase their rate at all just because we can't solve our deficit problems just from them? Should we cut any programs in the budget if none of them will solve our spending problems?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:13 PM #
  21. 39%!!?? Plus state taxes? How greedy should the government be?

    And think of the disincentive to do the extra work to get into that bracket. Why bother earning more if so much will be taken? Why suffer that injustice?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:25 PM #
  22. duxrule

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    "And think of the disincentive to do the extra work to get into that bracket. Why bother earning more if so much will be taken? Why suffer that injustice?"

    Please explain to us all how it was when no one "aspired" to those higher accomplishments when tax rates were much, MUCH higher. Tell us all about how there were no "rich people" during those terrible times.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:29 PM #
  23. Andrew

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    F&B: 39%!!?? Plus state taxes? How greedy should the government be?

    And think of the disincentive to do the extra work to get into that bracket. Why bother earning more if so much will be taken? Why suffer that injustice?

    Yes, why, you must be right - I don't remember any rich people until George W. Bush came into office. Too much "disincentive." If you make $100M/year, good grief why bother if I get to keep only $50M? Might as well just flip burgers at McDonalds if that's all you get.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:29 PM #
  24. "Please explain to us all how it was when no one "aspired" to those higher accomplishments when tax rates were much, MUCH higher. Tell us all about how there were no "rich people" during those terrible times."

    Probably from capital gains. The ultra rich like the Kennedys set up trusts and have ways of avoiding taxes.

    When Ronald Reagan was an actor the top tax rate was 90%, so he only made so many movies each year and then stopped. Why do the extra work for so little return?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:35 PM #
  25. duxrule

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    Ronnie Raygun? St. Ronnie Raygun is your example? What were tax rates under his administration, and how many times did he RAISE them?

    "So, despite his public opposition to higher taxes, Reagan ended up signing off on several measures intended to raise more revenue.

    "Reagan was certainly a tax cutter legislatively, emotionally and ideologically. But for a variety of political reasons, it was hard for him to ignore the cost of his tax cuts," said tax historian Joseph Thorndike.

    Two bills passed in 1982 and 1984 together "constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime," Thorndike said."
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/08/news/economy/reagan_years_taxes/index.htm

    Even St. Ronnie understood the need to raise revenues when necessary. Why don't you?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:42 PM #
  26. Andrew

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    Posts: 5,240

    F&B: When Ronald Reagan was an actor the top tax rate was 90%, so he only made so many movies each year and then stopped. Why do the extra work for so little return?

    A face-saving story to hide the truth: his acting career was over by the Eisenhower years, so his ability to make much money in Hollywood was over anyway. Yet somehow, Reagan continued to work for GE Theater in the 1950s on television, for which he was presumably paid a pretty penny.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:47 PM #
  27. Andy_brown

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    Posts: 6,705

    Contrary to the popular GOP rhetoric, we as a country create MORE jobs when the taxes on the wealthy are higher.

    "In theory, the GOP is so committed to resisting tax hikes because it’s so committed to creating jobs. “The fact is you can’t tax the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs,” says Speaker John Boehner. But Michael Linden’s chart comparing average annual job creation at different marginal tax rates begs to differ:"

    http://tinyurl.com/3buqwfx

    http://tinyurl.com/437p9qn

    Now how about that?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 04:48 PM #
  28. missing_kskd

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    Posts: 14,921

    Take away the incentive?

    No it won't. We built this nation on tax rates much higher than that.

    Anybody building that kind of wealth doesn't have to take it as income you know. They can reinvest in their business, keeping their net worth high, and people employed and not pay anywhere near that tax rate. It's INCOME tax, not a general tax on wealth.

    What's wrong with encouraging stable, robust businesses that pay well?

    Secondly, I would take that problem in a second. Having to pay 40 percent on a million a year, or a billion is a wonderful problem to have. Ask around.

    If anybody can be found that is foolish enough to not go and make the money because they have to actually help fund the society that empowered them to make it, they deserve to be poor. The rest of us would gladly make the money, pay the taxes, and laugh in our nice boat at just how dumb the Tea Party mind set really is.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 05:31 PM #
  29. There is $1.4 trillion in income above $250k.

    Since at least 25% of that is already going to taxes, it would be optimistic to assume another 10% could be taken, but let's assume that it could be. That would be an additional $.14 trillion in revenue (presuming there would be no destimulating caused by putting butlers and yacht makers out of work).

    That would be 1% of the national debt.

    By increasing the taxes on the wealthy, we could reduce the national debt by 1%.

    So let's not be disingenuous and give the impression that the rich can make this right. They can't.

    The rest comes out of the hides of the working class and/or at the expense of cutting programs.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 06:04 PM #
  30. Andrew

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    Posts: 5,240

    F&B: There is $1.4 trillion in $250k income.

    Since at least 25% of that is already going to taxes, it would be optimistic to assume another 10% could be taken, but let's assume that it could be.

    Huh? As I pointed out, the wealthy were taxed at 39.6% at the highest tax bracket under Clinton - including dividends. Why would increasing the rate only 10% now be "optimistic?" Why can't we simply let the Bush tax cuts expire and revert to the higher rates? Are rich people so addicted to their 2nd and 3rd homes now that they can't give up one of them or have a smaller 3rd home? Have to get a smaller private jet? Have to "slum" and just be super rich as back in the 1990s, not mega-mega rich like today?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 06:08 PM #
  31. missing_kskd

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    Posts: 14,921

    Besides, we put that money into public works, and those pay back with tax revenues, value to the nation overall, new business, etc... many times what the original sum was.

    Lots of ways to pay down that debt. One of the best ways is to fund labor, which produces things of value, that then can either be leveraged or sold / exported to pay down debt.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 06:50 PM #
  32. "Huh? As I pointed out, the wealthy were taxed at 39.6% at the highest tax bracket under Clinton - including dividends. Why would increasing the rate only 10% now be "optimistic?" Why can't we simply let the Bush tax cuts expire and revert to the higher rates? Are rich people so addicted to their 2nd and 3rd homes now that they can't give up one of them or have a smaller 3rd home? Have to get a smaller private jet? Have to "slum" and just be super rich as back in the 1990s, not mega-mega rich like today?"

    Sounds like envy to me. Sounds like you would like more to knock them down a peg than to help the country.

    But at any rate, how much more will you get out of them? What is the dollar figure? Do you know? Do you care? Do you realize how insignificant it will be and that it won't make a dent in the deficit.

    It sounds good to the ears of some to hear that "the rich" might get whats coming to them, and that because of them we have these huge deficits, but as I said before, they could barely scratch the surface. The rest comes out of the pockets of regular workers, unless we cut spending.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 06:58 PM #
  33. "Sounds like envy to me. Sounds like you would like more to knock them down a peg than to help the country."

    Boy have you totally missed the point or was this really your only point..envy?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:00 PM #
  34. missing_kskd

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    Posts: 14,921

    Oh, I want to tax them nicely, put it into the country, build out the next generation of things we need to stay relevant, then watch them recover that money several times over doing business in the new, robust commons, just like they did last time, but that's just me.

    And remember, having to think about a few percent change in tax rate at the income levels our top few percent deal with is a nice problem to have. I would gladly work hard for 500K / year, paying 40 percent as opposed to, say 100K / year, paying 20 percent. Anybody would, meaning there will always be somebody to work for it, incentive is still there, nothing changes, lots of money to be made.

    Where the person working for 20-30K per year makes far more ugly choices, like say health care, or feeding the kids. Compare that to say lowering the investment percentage, or maybe not getting a second new boat, or looking at a private school close to home instead of abroad for the kiddies.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:02 PM #
  35. ""Sounds like envy to me. Sounds like you would like more to knock them down a peg than to help the country."

    Boy have you totally missed the point or was this really your only point..envy?"

    If you had read all my posts, and not taken this one out of context, you would have seen otherwise.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:06 PM #
  36. You're missing the point, missing. Justify gouging the rich all you like. Even if it happens and even if it doesn't harm the economy, you will have very little to show for it. The regular working stiffs will have to come up with 98% of the rest, unless we cut spending.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:08 PM #
  37. missing_kskd

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    Posts: 14,921

    History favors my view.

    Yeah, tax 'em, and end corporate subsidies and no-bid contracts, corporate handouts and welfare in general.

    End the wars, putting those dollars into a GI Bill, Universal Health care, which will save us over 1 trillion over as few as 10 years, etc...

    Lots of ways to do it.

    We can not spend as much. We can make investments so the returns pay down our debt, and we can raise revenue too.

    All three are needed, applied the right ways to maximize returns and promote as much labor and wealth production as we can.

    Only the chumps are on the zero sum, cuts only program.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:19 PM #
  38. "Only the chumps are on the zero sum, cuts only program."

    Well this chump sees the reality that if revenues are "enhanced" it will have to be on the backs of the regular workers, since the rich can make only a tiny dent in the deficit (as can drastic cuts in the military).

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:42 PM #
  39. What this is all about is fairness. Versus those who dont think its fair to begin with. Its mostly political. Half of the total wage earners in this country dont pay ANY Federal Tax... they pay other taxes , however..FICA , sales taxes, property and local taxes etc..most of these wage earners are below 35 K /yr and have dependents.

    Earners who make more than 250 K/yr pay about 65% of all Federal Tax revenues..most of these people feel that the burden is already on them now and would resist paying anymore of the Federal Tax revenue. Taking another 25 % away from them on dividends or capital gains might crimp their lifestyle in terms of added vacations or a 5th or 6th home away from home perhaps.

    Now, there are a lot of coporations that get away with paying NO Federal Taxes either...enter here the ' loophole ' plugging arguments...

    Its Political, this argument, that is why there is so much polarity in this string over it. It is really about fixing the budget...when we are talking percentages in the single digits w.r.t.then entire deficit ...

    But you know the way we traditionally balance our budget...he he ...we use smoke and mirrors in a way that lets us believe that we are balancing it when we are not actually doing that , but raising some revenue to enhance our current spending in lieu of really saving anything to apply to the national debt...that happened during the Clinton administration..so then if you look at it that way, having that extra revenue from the over 250 K crowd would make a bigger difference if the that revenue were applied to CURRENT spending ...ha ha ...see ...its a shell game...

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:50 PM #
  40. Andrew

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    Posts: 5,240

    F&B: Sounds like envy to me. Sounds like you would like more to knock them down a peg than to help the country.

    Uh oh - had to slip into an ad hominem attack instead of sticking to your argument huh? That's not good...

    But at any rate, how much more will you get out of them? What is the dollar figure? Do you know?

    It should be at least 39.6% as it was under Clinton.

    Do you care? Do you realize how insignificant it will be and that it won't make a dent in the deficit.

    Is $700 Billion over ten years really nothing to you? So not really worth bothering with?

    But don't argue with me about it - argue with people like Warren Buffett and William Gates Sr. (Bill's dad), who want the Bush tax cuts to be repealed. Why do you suppose those billionaires thing you are so wrong and want to see their fellow super-rich pay higher taxes? Are they just ill-informed? Maybe you should impart your wisdom on them - maybe they're just not savvy with economics or something.

    Isn't it ironic, though, that some of the very rich want all of the rich to pay more but people like you (not one of them I assume) are arguing they shouldn't? Do you think Warren Buffett works less hard when he has to pay higher taxes?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 08:01 PM #
  41. missing_kskd

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    Posts: 14,921

    "This chump knows..."

    Yet is completely unable to support it. Yeah, that's why I used the word, "chump".

    The public option was scored at nearly a trillion dollar savings over 10 years, BTW. Either we want to make some progress on the deficit or not.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:01 PM #
  42. F&B I have read all you posts on this thread.

    For the sake of argument lets take the national debt out of the equation. Lets say you make a million dollars a year and I make 100,000 a year. Should we both be taxed at the same rate?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:02 PM #
  43. "F&B I have read all you posts on this thread.

    For the sake of argument lets take the national debt out of the equation. Lets say you make a million dollars a year and I make 100,000 a year. Should we both be taxed at the same rate? "

    That's not the issue at all. And if I were so lucky to be making that much I already would be paying a greater rate.

    And since there are so few in this bracket, raising their rates will not net much in the way of revenue.

    However, to answer your question--I believe in volume discounts. I don't see why the tax rate should not go DOWN instead of up. Should I pay more for a loaf of bread than you do?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:15 PM #
  44. missing_kskd

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  45. "The public option was scored at nearly a trillion dollar savings over 10 years, BTW. Either we want to make some progress on the deficit or not."

    That would be 1/14th of the deficit over 10 years, or 1/140th per year. That's worse than what I came up with. If "the rich" can reduce the deficit by only .7% per year, that's not much to write home about. The rest has to come from somewhere else--like the middle class. If enhanced revenues will be the way to fix this, it will be on the backs of the masses.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:21 PM #
  46. missing_kskd

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    Okie Dokie

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:26 PM #
  47. Well I know a brick wall when I hit one.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:27 PM #
  48. "Uh oh - had to slip into an ad hominem attack instead of sticking to your argument huh? That's not good..."

    My apologies, Andrew. I shouldn't have gone there. I agree--ad hominem attacks are not good.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:27 PM #
  49. duxrule

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    Posts: 4,915

    "That would be 1/14th of the deficit over 10 years, or 1/140th per year. That's worse than what I came up with. If "the rich" can reduce the deficit by only .7% per year, that's not much to write home about. The rest has to come from somewhere else--like the middle class. If enhanced revenues will be the way to fix this, it will be on the backs of the masses."

    So, let me see if I have this straight...Your reasoning for not raising taxes on the upper income levels is because taxes will also go up for the middle class? Isn't that magnanimous of you. Recent analysis shows that the 400 richest people in America actually pay 18% of their wages in taxes, and with the Bush tax cuts, that goes down to 15%.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/robertlenzner/2011/07/25/the-400-richest-americans-pay-an-18-tax-rate/?partner=yahoofeed

    Why are you not outraged about that? Like you said, the revenues that they're avoiding under the law come out of your and my paycheck. Why don't you think that these people should be paying their fair share? Analysis after analysis after analysis shows that the Bush tax cuts do more to add to the budget deficit than any other factor, including the ongoing military involvements. I take it you feel that spending cuts are the only way to get us back into balance, but anyone with half-a-brain also understands that's not possible. A combination of spending cuts and revenue increases gets us back into the black. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:33 PM #
  50. "For the sake of argument lets take the national debt out of the equation. Lets say you make a million dollars a year and I make 100,000 a year. Should we both be taxed at the same rate? "

    To give a more thoughtful answer to your question...

    If we were each taxed at 20%, you would pay $20,000 and I would pay $200,000.

    Does it seem fair to you that I have to pay $180,000 more than you do? Do I receive $180,000 more in goverment services than you do?

    But you not only think this is fair, but not "fair enough." I need to pay a greater percentage too, but why?

    If we collected taxes based upon consumption or some kind of sales tax, the percentage would remain constant.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 09:41 PM #

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