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Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

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Old 06-13-2008, 03:05 PM   #1
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Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

Interesting article about what constitutes "rich" from a practical standpoint as opposed to the political rhetoric about top percentiles.
Taxing the 'Not-So-Rich' Rich

The gist is that many people who fall in the top 2% of household incomes (projected to be about $250k/year for married couples) aren't basking in luxury. Often they live in areas with high costs of living and some are repaying school debts, which were required to allow them to get to the higher salary. These people would feel the squeeze of an extra 3-4% in taxes.

I don't have a feel for whether those in this situation are a significant percentage of that "top 2%" population or not. I do think that $250k/year puts most married couples in their 30s with 2 kids and a mortgage living in a top 20 metro area in the "comfortable but not secure" range.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

I wonder what these people would do if they actually had to go live the life of someone who is actually working class? I think they might just shrivel up and die, the strain would be just too much for them. "I can't put 15% in my 401k and Junior might have to go to a state school. Whoas me!"

Notice also that among the costs that are putting the 'squeeze' on these poor folks are health care and education. Let's think about that one for a second.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

I will have to agree $250K a year if you are manging your money correctly that tax squeeze should mean nothing to you. the problem is a lot of those people are living like they make $300K or $400k a year. Basically above their means.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

It depends on where you live. A $250,000 salary goes a lot farther in the middle of nowhere than it does in downtown Manhattan. Unfortunately, I think it's hard to implement a tax scheme with COLAs.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

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Originally Posted by SC Skins Fan View Post
I wonder what these people would do if they actually had to go live the life of someone who is actually working class? I think they might just shrivel up and die, the strain would be just too much for them. "I can't put 15% in my 401k and Junior might have to go to a state school. Whoas me!"

Notice also that among the costs that are putting the 'squeeze' on these poor folks are health care and education. Let's think about that one for a second.
I'm pretty sure the folks making this type of income will survive. Contrary to popular belief, most families making that type of money did not get it handed to them through trust funds or Mommy & Daddy paying all their bills until they were in their 30s. I would argue that their good judgement in putting 15% in their 401K and sending their children to private schools is also, in the long run, much better for the economy.

A majority of them worked their hind-quarters off to try to make a better life than what they came up in, even if it meant making sacrifices like studying in high school so they could get into a good college while their friends were at parties and getting drunk/high, studying and working internships while in college rather than blowing off class and partying, or spending years in the military to attend or pay for college at night, working 50-60 hour weeks, spending time on the road away from their families, answering pages, texts and cell phones in the middle of the night to deal with business responsibilities.

I've posted the numbers before, the top 10% of earners pay approximately 67% of the taxes in this country, the bottom 50% pay about 3%. The rates for income earned vs. tax rate is disproportionate.

WTF right does the government have to increase the tax rates on the "wealthy". It's flat out wealth confiscation and redistribution. The money earned by the American people is THEIRS it is NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S. Unfortunately, so many people have the attitude of "well they can afford it".....until they move into a higher tax bracket and their tax rate goes up. It doesn't matter if the "wealthy" can afford it, why should they? The "raise taxes on the rich" argument is class warfare at its worst. How does the "top 2%" fight this? They can't because the folks voting in November outnumber them by a vast majority and don't recognize or don't care that what is being proposed is wrong.

Not only is this approach flat out wrong, it will stiffle the economy. It has been proven time and again, when the government raises taxes the economy slows down. Like it or not, that "top 2%" is not just ambulance- chasing lawyers, professional athletes, and overpaid CEOs of major corporations. It is mostly your local doctor, dentist, salesperson, or small business person who owns the local restaurant or store at the mall. Most of these folks go to the same stores, drive on the same roads, go to the same churches and work their asses off like everyone else. And they almost never qualify for or take advantage of any government entitlement programs.

And I don't want to hear the "Warren Buffett paid 15% or 17%" argument. Buffett is in the crowd that can live off investments and has a team of accoutants/tax attorneys making sure he pays the least amount of taxes he can. Most of the people in the $ 250-300K range make a vast majority of their income through salaries and business income that isn't taxed at the lower capital gains rate.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

I don't think anyone is saying this is going to break the bank or push someone to foreclosure. The point is more that politicians speak of the top 2% as if they fly private jets around the world for dinner. 3% for a $250k income family probably does make a difference.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:21 PM   #7
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mredskins View Post
I will have to agree $250K a year if you are manging your money correctly that tax squeeze should mean nothing to you. the problem is a lot of those people are living like they make $300K or $400k a year. Basically above their means.
People at all levels live "above thier means" Such as the person working the overnight drive-in shift at Wendy's wearing the $200 Nikes and playing on their iPhone.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

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People at all levels live "above thier means" Such as the person working the overnight drive-in shift at Wendy's wearing the $200 Nikes and playing on their iPhone.
Leave me out of this.

Sorry, I have no place in this thread, but I'm really bored.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:01 PM   #9
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

It's really difficult to throw out a hard number/range without serious research and analysis. It's complex...you have to take locale and inflation into consideration. The number certainly can't be a hard figure because we'll eventually run into AMT tax like issues. One thing is for sure though, the well off won't be starving and will certainly be benefiting from all that this country has to offer.

Finally I'd like to add that our tax system is a progressive tax system which means the tax brackets can be adjusted. The question then becomes "what's a reasonable tax bracket structure?" If you don't like the progressive tax system, that's entirely a different matter.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

I am against the federal income tax. I would like to see the states tax the income of their constituents, and have the federal government get its money from the states when it needs it. That way the state's tax would be more inline with the cost of living in that area (like Saden said).

When you really think about it, the federal income tax is not much different from a tax imposed by a King -- a prime motive for The Framers to create this country. Seems like we're back to square one.

I'm sure there are problems, but this approach seems much better to me.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:39 PM   #11
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
Finally I'd like to add that our tax system is a progressive tax system which means the tax brackets can be adjusted. The question then becomes "what's a reasonable tax bracket structure?" If you don't like the progressive tax system, that's entirely a different matter.
The income tax is progressive. However most folks in the U.S. pay more in the regressive payroll tax.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:15 PM   #12
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
I'm pretty sure the folks making this type of income will survive. Contrary to popular belief, most families making that type of money did not get it handed to them through trust funds or Mommy & Daddy paying all their bills until they were in their 30s. I would argue that their good judgement in putting 15% in their 401K and sending their children to private schools is also, in the long run, much better for the economy.

A majority of them worked their hind-quarters off to try to make a better life than what they came up in, even if it meant making sacrifices like [b]studying in high school so they could get into a good college while their friends were at parties and getting drunk/high, studying and working internships while in college rather than blowing off class and partying[b], or spending years in the military to attend or pay for college at night, working 50-60 hour weeks, spending time on the road away from their families, answering pages, texts and cell phones in the middle of the night to deal with business responsibilities.

I've posted the numbers before, the top 10% of earners pay approximately 67% of the taxes in this country, the bottom 50% pay about 3%. The rates for income earned vs. tax rate is disproportionate.

WTF right does the government have to increase the tax rates on the "wealthy". It's flat out wealth confiscation and redistribution. The money earned by the American people is THEIRS it is NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S. Unfortunately, so many people have the attitude of "well they can afford it".....until they move into a higher tax bracket and their tax rate goes up. It doesn't matter if the "wealthy" can afford it, why should they? The "raise taxes on the rich" argument is class warfare at its worst. How does the "top 2%" fight this? They can't because the folks voting in November outnumber them by a vast majority and don't recognize or don't care that what is being proposed is wrong.

Not only is this approach flat out wrong, it will stiffle the economy. It has been proven time and again, when the government raises taxes the economy slows down. Like it or not, that "top 2%" is not just ambulance- chasing lawyers, professional athletes, and overpaid CEOs of major corporations. It is mostly your local doctor, dentist, salesperson, or small business person who owns the local restaurant or store at the mall. Most of these folks go to the same stores, drive on the same roads, go to the same churches and work their asses off like everyone else. And they almost never qualify for or take advantage of any government entitlement programs.

And I don't want to hear the "Warren Buffett paid 15% or 17%" argument. Buffett is in the crowd that can live off investments and has a team of accoutants/tax attorneys making sure he pays the least amount of taxes he can. Most of the people in the $ 250-300K range make a vast majority of their income through salaries and business income that isn't taxed at the lower capital gains rate.
Well, you've certainly got the talking points down. Obviously I have sharp ideological differences with you and I just cannot help thinking about late 19th century politics when I start hearing buzzwords like "confiscation and wealth redistribution" since those were the same arguments that helped topple the Reconstruction project (cf. Heather Cox Richardson, The Death of Reconstruction). Like those Gilded Age politicians you ignore structural inequality and effectively say that the wealthy have money because they are worthy and the poor do not because they are lazy and unworthy. More importantly, I think you oversimplify the argument by setting up the strawman of the 'tax and spend' liberal boogyman.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:20 PM   #13
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

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Originally Posted by SC Skins Fan View Post
Well, you've certainly got the talking points down. Obviously I have sharp ideological differences with you and I just cannot help thinking about late 19th century politics when I start hearing buzzwords like "confiscation and wealth redistribution" since those were the same arguments that helped topple the Reconstruction project (cf. Heather Cox Richardson, The Death of Reconstruction). Like those Gilded Age politicians you ignore structural inequality and effectively say that the wealthy have money because they are worthy and the poor do not because they are lazy and unworthy. More importantly, I think you oversimplify the argument by setting up the strawman of the 'tax and spend' liberal boogyman.
"structual inequality"?
"strawman of the 'tax and spend' liberal boogeyman"?

I'd you have to talking points down too. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Maybe one set of the talking points are right.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:30 PM   #14
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

1) If you offer me and my wife a 250k income, I guarantee we can live comfortably in any city with our two boys. Some housing areas of certain cities may be off-limits, of course.

2) I agree with Slingin' Sammy: you can't keep taxing the well-to-do just because they have the money. {Pssst...sounds like someone likes the Fair Tax idea}

3) On the other hand, since they're are already hard-working, entrepreneurially spirited individuals, if you do tax them more they'll just work that much harder to make up the difference. It's a win-win situation.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:30 PM   #15
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Re: Taxing the rich - what is the cutoff?

I find it ironic the same people against taxes are the same people for spending $4,000 a minute in Iraq.
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