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Old 06-05-2008, 09:57 AM   #16
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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Why would I go to an advocacy group to find out information about a program? Admittedly, I spoke without a detailed knowledge of to proposal (partially because it is more complicated than advocates would admit), but if I am going to go look for information I'd rather go someplace like this:

FactCheck.org: Unspinning the FairTax

Sorry for breaking into the AMT discussion, but I find it frustrating when highly partisan information is presented as simply "the facts". It actually does matter where you get your information from and when I see code words like "socialized medicine" and "fair taxation" I become pretty skeptical of the source of information. You should too.
This is just a post in a show of support for what SC Skins Fan is saying. Media bias is prevalent even in the major networks, who employ journalists who pledge to report the facts and remain neutral. Political bias still manages to creep into their reporting.

Interpreting bias and identifying each source's slant is critical to obtaining reliable information. In this age when anyone can post anything on the internet, interpreting this bias is critical when searching the web for information.

In the end, if you link to or reference biased information, it's your credibility that ultimately suffers.

FactCheck is an excellent, unbiased source of information.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:21 PM   #17
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

My Bad.

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Old 06-05-2008, 05:25 PM   #18
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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Nobody's arguing the principle, saden. They're criticizing the execution.

Making sure everyone pays their fair share of tax makes all the sense in the world. Failing to adjust the threshold for inflation, however, is nothing short of f*cking retarded. Good idea, but as usual, f*cked up by the geniuses within the US government.

Getting rid of the AMT would be more fair than keeping it as-is. As it stands now, it's one of the great tax injustices of all-time. Ideally, they'd keep the AMT (because it's a decent idea) but simply adjust the threshold up. It'd be pretty easy - go back to the year the threshold was set, multiply it by the CPI for every year until 2008, bringing it up into the $200-300K range. Then index it to inflation moving forward.
Ok you say everyone should pay their fair shair but its retarded to have a AMT for lower income people. Is that wanting it both ways. Maybe it just seems OK to hit people making more because they have more but why is it a good idea for one group of people and not the other?
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:43 PM   #19
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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Ok you say everyone should pay their fair shair but its retarded to have a AMT for lower income people. Is that wanting it both ways. Maybe it just seems OK to hit people making more because they have more but why is it a good idea for one group of people and not the other?
As to the question why should the rich pay more taxes? Their are two reasons:

1) As others have pointed out, the greater your wealth - the greater your level of disposal income. A loaf of bread and a gallon of gas cost the same whether you make 30,000 or 300,000. A family of four can get by okay on 50,000 but every penny counts and 10% of their income will affect their ability to afford much more beyond the basics. A family of four can live in moderate luxury on 500,000. While they will not be able to afford all the luxuries they might if they pay 20% of their income in taxes - would anyone suggest that a family of four could not live very very well on an income of 400,000?

2) More importantly, the richer you are the more you have benefitted from the governmental infrastructure supported by the taxes. My ability to collect wealth is directly related to the stable economy, the transportation infrastructure, the regulation of commerce and the enforcement of the criminal code by the various governmental entities in the US. It seems self evident to me that those who profit the most from the structures and institutions created and sustained by government should be pay a higher percentage of their income.

It is, of course a balancing act. Destroying the incentive to be wealthy will destroy the tax base. i.e. for all our benefit, people most be allowed to be wealthy.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:56 PM   #20
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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Ok you say everyone should pay their fair shair but its retarded to have a AMT for lower income people. Is that wanting it both ways. Maybe it just seems OK to hit people making more because they have more but why is it a good idea for one group of people and not the other?
Your posts almost always confuse me. I can never quite tell what you're trying to say/ask.

Perhaps you just don't understand what the AMT is. By definition, AMT was designed to target the affluent, not the upper middle class, not the middle class, and not the poor. It was designed to ensure the rich could not take advantage of deductions and shelters to avoid paying their fair share.

If you're questioning what "fair share" is, then you seem to be arguing for a flat tax, which JR just addressed. That's an entirely different discussion.
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:03 PM   #21
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

For me the solution to the AMT is simple, just adjust the threshold for inflation like Schneed said. It was designed for the rich, if you adjust it for the rich due to inflation then it continues serving its' purpose instead of hurting middle class citizens. Unfortunately I don't think our current gov't would realize this lol. I hope in this case I'm wrong.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #22
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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Sorry for breaking into the AMT discussion, but I find it frustrating when highly partisan information is presented as simply "the facts". It actually does matter where you get your information from and when I see code words like "socialized medicine" and "fair taxation" I become pretty skeptical of the source of information. You should too.
I want to address what you and Schneed have mentioned, without going down the rathole of arguing detailed points of Fair Tax, tax policy, or politcal philosophies. I do completely understand media & political bias.

I want to clarify a couple things about my original post:

1) I didn't cut & paste from a highly partisan website. What I said in the post are my views & opinions, based on facts listed in the early part of the post. The part of my post below "What do we do?" wasn't intended to represent fact. It is my opinion of what we should do. Perhaps I should've been a bit more clear.

2) The first part of my post describing what Obama & McCain plan to do about our tax situation is fact and based on direct quotes, or in the case of McCain, a direct link to his website. The numbers & statistics are correct, how they are interpreted is a lengthy discussion, but the numbers themselves are correct.

3) The part of the post about Obama & health care are my words. But, they are based in fact and I don't believe they are up for debate. Obama is pushing "Universal Health Care". It will push our tax burden higher and, if passed into law, our health care system would be managed by government bureacrats.

The below two sentences weren't intended to be represented as facts but are very realistic and do happen. "Imagine needing a medical procedure but having to make a "political contribution" to get it done. This is common in countries with socialized medical systems."

I understand a couple of the terms "socialized medicine" and "bureaucrat" have negative connotations, but they are both used accurately in the context of what I've stated.

4) The website I linked to is definitely an advocacy site for the Fair Tax program. It accurately lists what Fair Tax proposes, what supporters see as advantages, and responses to common criticisms of the program. In evaluating your support or opposition for this, or any program, I would want to gather information both pro & con and then third-party info and make an evaluation. My point in linking to the Fair Tax site was to give a bit more information on the program and show that the ideas proposed are not from the redneck, "beat up truck" crowd.

No matter what, at least we agree that Cowboys fans with no connection to Texas suck.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:29 PM   #23
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

What about socialized welfare for farmers? Socialized police force? Socialized fire departments? Socialized education? Socialized defense department, homeland security, and wars? Socialized corporate welfare? Socialized disaster relief? Socialized foreign aid?

Quit with the socialized b.s. I pay for things I don't want to pay for too and stop acting like you're the only one that gets money taken out of your pockets.

I swear, I wish we had the ability to directly choose where our tax dollars goes!
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Last edited by saden1; 06-06-2008 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:47 PM   #24
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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I swear, I wish we had the ability to directly choose where our tax dollars goes!
We do. It's called the general election.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:36 PM   #25
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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We do. It's called the general election.
Having you congressman/senator/president pick and choose which programs to fund/not fund is directly? Vote for whoever you want and you'll still have a farm bill, pork, etc. Direct means directly choosing in your tax return you want fund specific programs and direct where your tax money goes.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:41 AM   #26
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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Having you congressman/senator/president pick and choose which programs to fund/not fund is directly? Vote for whoever you want and you'll still have a farm bill, pork, etc. Direct means directly choosing in your tax return you want fund specific programs and direct where your tax money goes.
A good idea in theory, but in practicality, a total disaster waiting to happen.

People are fickle. The media is everywhere. I, for one, know I don't want the media deciding which gov't programs we can fund and which ones we can't.

I understand that you wouldn't choose which programs to push based on media spin, but you'd be in the minority on that one.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:42 PM   #27
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

I guess my prior answer was a bit snarky. It's just the concept of direct voting for taxes is ridiculous (as GTripp said). Everything would become a popularity contest. You think electioneering is bad now - Imagine if various departments of the Govt. had to compete for your dollars on a dollar by dollar basis? In depth analysis of spending needs? Consistency in funding to acheive long term goals? Forget it. Mob rule by money is just as bad as mob rule by violence.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:11 PM   #28
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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I guess my prior answer was a bit snarky. It's just the concept of direct voting for taxes is ridiculous (as GTripp said). Everything would become a popularity contest. You think electioneering is bad now - Imagine if various departments of the Govt. had to compete for your dollars on a dollar by dollar basis? In depth analysis of spending needs? Consistency in funding to acheive long term goals? Forget it. Mob rule by money is just as bad as mob rule by violence.
Of course it's not practical or wise, I'm just frustrated with people always complaining...socialized this, socialized that...everyone has something they don't want to pay but that doesn't mean they are unworthy of being funded with tax dollars (of course there are some exceptions). This country is a union, we're all in it together, and we're as strong as our weakest link.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:30 PM   #29
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Re: Alternative Minimum Tax

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...and we're as strong as our weakest link.
Which is our increasingly gov't and policitians in my opinion.
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