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Letters to the Editor

Taxing the rich

October 17, 2011

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To the editor:

Taxes on the rich do not harm the economy. Far from it. Between 1947 and 1979, taxes on the top tier were between 70 percent and 91 percent, and the economy grew at its fastest pace. Family income increased across all tax brackets between 99 percent and 116 percent. Between 1980 and 2007, trickle-down economics destroyed the middle-class. Family income for 99 percent of earners increased at an anemic 25 percent. The top 1 percent benefitted with whopping 261 percent increase in income.  (Look at connectthedotsusa.org for more facts.)  Tax cuts for the rich do not deliver jobs or general prosperity.  They deliver deficits by design to encourage a weakening of government.

Comments

Wadde 3 years, 2 months ago

   High taxes for the rich; thats an understatement that discriminates( wealthy) individuals that know how use the universal laws of taxes.( Ignorance ) always seems to rule the underclass,

that cause taxes to go up when industries and new job creation rules an economy for certain interest groups. In turn underclass and interest groups and legislatures seek these groups so that their paychecks get bigger from the taxes they generate from these interest groups. I cannot see how you get a stronger economy from more jobs and more industries that promised us from these interest groups;in the last 10 years and now we are past and returning to weaken economy....thank you Mr.Greenspan for( raising the interest rates on the dollar)... ITS TIME TO RETURN TO THE GOLD STANDARD.

JustNoticed 3 years, 2 months ago

Incomprehensible. Fail. Please try again.

imastinker 3 years, 2 months ago

You're not talking about taxing the rich though. The rich make a lot of their money with capital gains, and that rate isn't under consideration to be changed. This is another tax on the middle class.

25O k is a pretty good income, but it's by no means rich. It's an engineer married to a nurse who have retirement money in stocks. They already pay a huge tax burden, probably approaching 50% of their income. All you'll succeed in doing is convincing the one with the lower income to stay at home and lead a more frugal life. That hurts the economy, not helps.

This point is probably lost on you though. Also the fact that there is no way to raise enough revenue on these people without a tax rate approaching 100%. there is no way to spend our way out this time. We have to cut expenses.

gudpoynt 3 years, 2 months ago

classic conservative misconception #1:

"Liberals think they can fix the deficit by rasising taxes."

Buzzzzz!!! Ooooh, sorry, that's incorrect sir.

Liberals understand that elimination of tax breaks for the wealthy will not fix the deficit by in and of itself. If you actually listen to what liberals say, a vast majority of them aren't claiming as such.

What liberals don't understand, is why Teapublicans use this fact as an excuse to continue a tax policy that clearly -- CLEARLY -- favors the already wealthy, and not only that, are actively advocating policy changes that will favor the wealthy even MORE!

Increased revenues through the elimination of tax breaks for the wealthy won't erase the deficit. Agreed.

Now, why should we continue tax breaks for the wealthy again?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 2 months ago

Heavily taxing the very poor is likely not to hurt the economy either but that doesn't mean its right. Just because you can tax the rich doesn't mean it's right.

The rich do pay their fair share of taxes. We need solutions that do not divide our country and going after the wealthy is divisive.

Lane Signal 3 years, 2 months ago

No, the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes. The rate on the kinds of income the rich largely use to make money is much lower than payroll tax and the cap on Social Security withholding at $106K means those who take home more that effectively pay a lower rate than those who pay less. Capital gains rates are much lower than payroll rates and there are all sorts of tax shelters and manipulations supported by laws tailored to allow the wealthy to dodge taxes. The tax rate on the wealthy continues to go down and is much lower than the tax rate on the middle class. We need to be divisive here. The rich are stealing all the money and as their wealth and income increase, the % of their income they pay in taxes continues to get smaller and the difference between what the wealthy and middle class pay in taxes continues to widen. This is class warfare. The rich started it. They keep influencing the political system to lower their taxes and relying on the rest of us to be too dumb or lazy to call them out. The top 1% have 40% of the wealth. We need to change policies or in 5 years the top 1% will have 50+% of the wealth.

independent_rebel 3 years, 2 months ago

+1

And no, I'm not rich. Just a small business owner. Close corporate loopholes, sure, but end the free ride for the moochers, especially those of the illegal varity.

gudpoynt 3 years, 2 months ago

LO - I think by "the rich are stealing all the money" is hyperbole for "they keep influencing the political system to lower their taxes".

Of course, I don't have to explain the use of hyperbole to you now, do I?

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Nice chart.

Also, when surveyed, most people underestimate that inequality, and would prefer for it to be more equal.

Jeff Zamrzla 3 years, 2 months ago

since you're defending the rich, we must assume you are among the very wealthy. If not, what makes you think you understand how much of their income is left after taxes? What is your disposable income? How large a percentage is it of your gross income? Don't know what disposable income is? Look it up. Economists use disposable income as a measure of individual wealth and it matters. The very poor and impoverished have no disposable income while te very people you defend have a high percentage and can therefore accumulate even more wealth. The amount accumulated is exponential once a certain breakeven point is achieved. Please instead of using tired, worn platitudes, do some research before you post.

Lane Signal 3 years, 2 months ago

It's fine if they are wealthy, but where I get upset is when they make more money than most but pay a smaller portion of their income in taxes than those making less. It does harm me if my neighbor makes more but I pay more in taxes and he pays less. Paying taxes does hurt. I just think the rich should suffer the pain as well. I suffer more pain if I pay a higher % of my earnings. I'd rather the rich pay a higher % than I do and I'm pretty sure they will still suffer less.

Jeff Zamrzla 3 years, 2 months ago

so, that means you'll do some research on my original post? You'll look up disposable income? You'll read some economics texts and find out for yourself what the truth is? It certainly is not found on faux news or listening to the drugster on the radio.

Lane Signal 3 years, 2 months ago

They pay more money but a smaller % of their income goes to taxes. The propaganda is claiming they pay more but not pointing out that they make much more and pay a smaller % in taxes.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps the rich shouldn't pay a lower rate, but they shouldn't have to pay a higher rate. But don't blame the wealthy blame our complicated tax system that requires CPAs and Lawyers to really understand it.

So you want people to suffer just because you suffer? How does someone elses suffering make your life better? It doesn't it.

Not in all cases, but in many, the wealthy earned their wealth and gave up things that those making less have. Many work far more than 40 hours per week - perhaps if you want them to

Jeff Zamrzla 3 years, 2 months ago

you have no clue, do you? ever heard of the idle rich? Trust Fund babies perhaps? this is a lost cause on most of you because you haven't the capacity to understand concepts outside of your rational thought process. Disagreeing after learning the facts (as understood by experts, not faux news blowhards) is far better than by default because you can't grasp the fundementals of the question.

gudpoynt 3 years, 2 months ago

LO - "What does it matter to you if someone else is wealthy"

It doesn't per se. In fact, it can benefit me, and others in my income bracket greatly, by providing goods and services at competitive prices, and jobs with comptitive wages.

Another common misconception: "Liberals are against individual wealth".

Individual wealth is not the problem. The problem is undue concentration of power and influence in the hands of a few extremely wealthy interests.

Why do you insist that any attempt to limit the power of a handful of extremely wealthy interests -- a power that has influenced economic policy to the point of near catastrophe -- is the same as limiting the power of every individual American?

It is not the same thing.

Of course, you're going to say that if only gov't would get completely out of the market, then natural regulatory forces would handle everything just fine.

Which, I suppose, is why those extremely wealthy interests are fighting tooth and nail against any type of government regulation and oversight, right?

Because if they can only get their way, and eliminate regulation and oversight, the market will rectify itself naturally, and a larger portion of our nations wealth will be naturally redistributed back to the lower economic tiers of society.

Riiiiiight. I assure you, those extremely wealthy intersts are not lobbying for economic policies (deregulation, less oversight) that will reduce their inordinately large portion of our nations wealth. The opposite in fact.

Jeff Zamrzla 3 years, 2 months ago

what makes you think I'm not rich myself? I earn a 6 figure income and I know how to game the system so it consistantly pays me more than I pay in yearly. My taxable income is less than the lady that cleans my house. I have invested wisely and make a living without being taxed too harshly. My point is that I'd gladly pay more in taxes if the system leveled the playing field for people such as myself who pay far less than most in the middle class. If my business losses are structured to provide a deduction, I don't pay on gains.

Getaroom 3 years, 2 months ago

So you are saying that the very rich want to and willingly give to the common good without some rules of taxation? Fairytale.

ljwhirled 3 years, 2 months ago

Seriously? The gold standard? That is your argument?

You realize that one of the key factors behind the recovery from the Great Depression was that FDR unpinned the currency from Gold?

You really think the money supply should be determined by how much gold some guy can dig out of the ground?

Here, educate yourself. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/04/27/135604828/why-we-left-the-gold-standard

CountyResident 3 years, 2 months ago

While you may be paying a third to half of your income in federal taxes, Warren Buffett and others who make their living from dividends, capital gains and running a hedge fund only pay 15%. That's why Warrren Buffet's overall tax rate was around 17%.

CountyResident 3 years, 2 months ago

Not true. Profits on real estate, copper, oil, grains, soybeans, gold, the dollar and any other commodity you want to throw in there are not taxed at the corporate level.

President Reagan must have cried about the low capital gains tax, because he raised it from 20% to 28%. Now we are at 15%. Bring back Reagan.

CountyResident 3 years, 2 months ago

No envy here. I just want them to pay taxes at the same rate as those earning a living from wages.

imastinker 3 years, 2 months ago

In the past we have let them die.

I think that seems a little extreme, but getting government benefits shouldn't allow a person to have 22's on their late model SUV and cable TV!

rwwilly 3 years, 2 months ago

You can correctly state this over and over again and to no avail. No one seems to understand your concept except perhaps me. You are quite right, of course, that the emphasis needs to be on reducing spending not increasing revenues. Give more money to Congress and they will spend all of it...plus about 10% more on average.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

The reasonable approach would be to do both.

Last time the budget was balanced (and the only time in the last 30-40 years) was with Clinton - at that time, revenue and spending was about 18% of GDP.

Right now, spending is high, at about 24%, but revenue is low, at about 14%.

vuduchyld 3 years, 2 months ago

Keep your tea away from me You've been drinkin, I can see I think I'll have a glass of lemonade Your slash and burn democracy Is not good public policy That tea is causing your intelligence to fade

(watch the music video here!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmSh2q...

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Read Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

The figure is about 47%, and that includes some rich people.

And, the main reason most of those folks aren't paying "federal" income taxes is that they make very little money.

I agree with your comments about less materialistic values.

What is the justification for taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income? If I buy some stocks, and then sell them for a profit, why should I pay 15%, rather than the same rate as other income?

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

CountyResident 3 years, 2 months ago

The buying and selling of a corporation by a shareholder has nothing to do with the companies profit or the rate of income tax that it pays. This transaction is between two shareholders and not the corporatiion. So your statement about the corporate tax rate is irrelevant.

If you want to make the argument that dividends paid by a corporation are subject to double taxation, you can make that argument, but the tax rate that most corporations pay is not 35%. This 35% rate that people throw around as a rate that US corporations pay is the "maximum" statutory income tax rate that can be paid. With all the tax credits, etc. it rarely is ever paid by any corporation. For example, the actual effective tax rate for Pfizer, Inc. for 2010 was 11.9%. General Electric's actual income tax rate for 2010 was 7.4%. So, if you receive dividends from these two companies the combined tax rate for corporate profits and dvidends is no where near your combined 50% rate.

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

jafs,

Because to buy the stock you already had to work, earn, and get taxed on that money to begin with. You've already been taxed at the full rate, it's essentially taking a double dip if you jack cap gains taxes up.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

That's true of any purchases anywhere - all of my disposable income that I spend has been taxed - it gets taxed again at the point of sale (do we pay sales taxes when buying stock?), then it is taxed as income to the business, again when people working there spend it, etc.

Your argument would suggest a 0% income tax rate for capital gains - do you support that?

If I buy a gold coin at a dealer, then sell it a year later for a profit, I pay normal income tax rates on the profit, as well as sales taxes. That seems like an analogous situation to me.

The profit I make on the purchase and sales of stocks is income, isn't it? Analogous to the profit I'd make from the gold coin example above.

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

My argument said nothing about 0%. And the sales tax you pay for your TV or car or food is 8%, right? Cap gains is double that and double the tax on your gold coin already. No, cap gains taxes should not go up.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

No, but if your argument is that the money has already been taxed, and double taxation is wrong, then...

You miss the point about the gold transaction - I not only pay sales tax when I buy it, I also pay normal income tax rates when I sell it for a profit on that profit, if I sell it within a year.

If I hold it longer than that, I actually pay more than normal income tax rates - about 28%.

Why is that any different than buying and selling stock and making a profit?

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

They reap the rewards, even if it were taxed at the same rate as regular income.

And, they can write off losses as well, if they lose money.

The question is why a different rate is appropriate, and I have yet to hear an answer that makes sense - see my post directly above yours for an illustration.

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

Short term cap gains are taxed at the same rate as regular income, jafs. Only long term gains are taxed differently, but they still max out at 20%.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Any source for that?

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'd just like to see it.

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

Sure. And it looks like long term is still 15% except for the lowest two tax brackets, but I believe that's set to shift to 20%.

http://www.moneychimp.com/features/capgain.htm

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes - I looked it up.

But, you only have to hold something for a year for it to be called "long term".

Again, I see no reason why the gold coin investor should pay higher than normal interest rates on a gold coin investment held for more than a year, as well as sales tax, while a stock investor pays neither of those rates.

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure of what you're talking about. If you sell a gold coin you're not paying sales tax, the buyer is, and when you initially buy the coin your sales tax is the national average of 8%. An investor isn't paying interest rates, that's the percentage his investment appreciates per year. The stock market investor doesn't pay sales tax at the start because they're not buying something that actually changes hands, they're investing in a company with their risk in appreciation and dividends. Then they're taxed at year end on the capital gains of that investment at the same federal rate as they file in which is a much higher rate than your gold coin investor pays.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

When I buy the coin, I pay sales tax. When I buy stock, I don't.

During the first year, gold is taxed as ordinary income, just as capital gains are. After that time, gold is taxed at up to 28%, while capital gains are taxed at 15, perhaps going up to 20%, regardless of your bracket (those at the bottom don't pay that).

Why?

They're both investments, they both involve risk, they both involve money that's already been taxed as income (presumably), etc.

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

Okay, I read ya now. I've never invested in gold so I'm not 100%, but I figure it has to do with how the IRS chooses to differentiate investments. I believe gold is considered a collectible - a capital asset with its own tax rate. So it's considered the same as art or stamps or coins, etc. I'm pretty sure exchange traded funds that deal in metals are taxed the same as other stocks. Why they differentiate I have no idea, though I suspect it goes back to whether you own and possess the art (gold) or you're risking capital in the market by backing a fund.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

It's really too bad that you can't discuss things without resorting to personal slurs - I don't do that, and I'd appreciate it if you would stop.

Otherwise, why would I want to talk with you?

It's not an "obsession" or anything like it - I'm simply responding to something in LN's post, and then continuing to respond to various comments about it.

I've seen no argument that makes sense out of why capital gains should be taxed any differently from regular income.

As far as our general budget problems, the last time the budget was balanced, our spending and revenue were at about 18% of GDP (Clinton - the only time in the last 30-40 years we've had a balanced budget). Right now, spending is high at about 24%, but revenue is low, at about 14%.

So, the reasonable approach would be to increase revenue and cut spending.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

I think that the tax code should not be used to encourage/discourage behavior, but simply to collect revenue, in a clear and consistent manner.

And, again, if I buy some mutual funds and make money from them, I'm not "investing in society" in the way you mean - that would only happen if I invested in a new business.

Thank you for refraining from personal slurs and insults - it makes it worthwhile to discuss things with you.

Lane Signal 3 years, 2 months ago

It's not irrelevant. If Warren is paying 15% and his secretary is paying 20%, that is not fair. It should be the other way around. The whole point here is that the tax structure is not fair. I'm not claiming that taxing wealthy individuals at a higher rate would fix everything, but if we fix the tax laws so that the rich and corporations were paying their fair share, it would help with the deficit. It would also make me feel better. The rich and corporations have shown lately that if they get to keep more money they will not expand, hire more Americans and push the money back into the economy. The more common response now is to horde cash, move jobs off shore and continue to whine about how much they are paying in taxes and how unfair it is for those making less to complain about how low the tax rate is on the wealthy.

Jeff Zamrzla 3 years, 2 months ago

For a zero tax rate, look to Somolia and see what no taxes and complete anarchy have done for them. You are just a whiner!

skinny 3 years, 2 months ago

Everyone ought to be taxed the same. Those who earn more will pay more even with flat rate tax. But at least it'd be more fair then it is now!

KEITHMILES05 3 years, 2 months ago

Buffet released his taxable income from a recent year (don't remember which?) to a Ks. congressman last week and he had taxable income a little over 60,000. So, no he doesn't pay millions in taxes.

kansasredlegs 3 years, 2 months ago

Earnings and Wealth are different issues. Buffet may have only paid $60K has you cite; however, I would tend to think you would pay more than that if you just left your cool one billion beans sitting in a low-interest bearing savings account. I'm sure he had millions in losses to offset what was reportable income.

btw: Even if Buffet doesn't pay millions in taxes to our government for wasteful spending, cities line up to snag them one of those Buffet Nebraska Furniture Marts which generate multi-millions in tax revenues. Those same Citites are more than willing to give away your tax dollars in abatements and concessions to get one. Go figure, you tax dollars given away to a wealthy man so he can become even more wealthy. Seems you don't have problem with that.

imastinker 3 years, 2 months ago

This is exactly correct. Efficient use of capital creates a lot of money for the government. For one, every dollar of profit made is taxed at the corporate level and again when it's paid out as dividends. Capital creates jobs, tax revenue, and a lot of spending in the local economy. By taxing people like Buffett that control a lot of capital heavier, you reduce the amount of money they have to invest and create more capital with.

Now, I don't care that Buffett is taxed where he is. What bothers me is that the bar is being lowered to include the middle class too. I stick up for them because I know that unless spending is addressed the bar will continue to be lowered and start to affect me!

It also bothers me that Buffett earns his money as capital gains. This discussion won't affect him because they are talking about taxing income.

CountyResident 3 years, 2 months ago

His personal dividends and capital gains from those corporations and other income was around $66 Billion. This does show up on his personal income tax return. His average tax rate was around 17%.

CountyResident 3 years, 2 months ago

I already informed you that the 35% tax rate rarely applies. See my comments above.

George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Good points. The Republican argument about investment caN BE ADDRESSED BY REDUCING TAXES ON THE MIDDLE. Even though they would not invest as much each there are more of them and their investments should make up for those no longer made by a more highly taxed super rich.

The rest of the Republican arguments are just raw greed. If we can be highly progressive on the middle and upper middle we sure can be highly progressive on the rich and super rich.

WE ARE NOT!

Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

What? The Republican arguments for no new taxes is just raw greed. Darn I should be supporting the Democrates who want new taxes on everyone making over 250,000.00 a year. Because, those people should be paying more for the roads, bridges, schools, and paying more to help out the 50% of the US population who can't pay for needed social services. :"Rich" people should pay for the four wars the United States is involved with. As it is "their" industrial complex that is producing the products used to fight them.

George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Why is the federal income tax code highly proigressive from about $50K to $350K and then flat. If progressive should it not be so for the rich??

William Weissbeck 3 years, 2 months ago

To paraphrase William Jennings Bryan, tear down your corporations and leave the workers, and businesses will spout up as if by magic. But destroy the workers and the walls will crumble in every business across America. If tomorrow we do half of all the wealth and all the income from the top 1 percent, the next day they would still be rich and earning more than you or me. Taxes are the price you pay for a civilized society. The debate is about what is necessary for civilized, educated and productive. You can always live behind your gated walls and keep your money in a foreign bank, but ask the wealthy in Tia Juana or Juarez if that isn't an illusion of security.

Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

Mindless polarization is a far easier concept to get behind than an inconvenient truth, Glad to see where the Nazi party and the communist party both have now given support to the occupy wall street. Both have designs on the "judeo-capitalist banksters" and even the Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said that these protest will destroy capitalism forever. So, yeah, we need to take it all from the 1%. They will still be rich and earning more than the 99%. What will it matter?

Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

Harborside, a medical marijuana store, celebrated its fifth anniversary Monday, serves 94,000 patients with 84 full-time employees and brings in about $22 million in annual revenue. According to DeAngelo, the center, set up as a not-for-profit business, pays about $1.1 million in taxes to the city of Oakland, $2 million to the state of California and $500,000 to the federal government.

“We have no complaint about the taxes we pay," DeAngelo said. "We are doing our part. All we ask is that we be treated like any other business enterprise. To treat us like criminals is simply wrong. Drug kingpins and cartels don’t file taxes. We do. But no business, including ours, can survive if it is taxed on its gross revenue. The IRS is trying to tax us out of existence.” Here is the tax code the IRS is using: “Section 280E of the Code disallows deductions incurred in the trade or business of trafficking in controlled substances that federal law or the law of any state in which the taxpayer conducts the business prohibits. For this purpose, the term “controlled substances” has the meaning provided in the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana falls within the Controlled Substances Act.”

Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

I would not "give" the government a dime of which it did not deserve. I like my roads, bridges, and schools. However, I do not like the graft, greed and the four, maybe five, wars the government is fighting.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Nobody ever "gave" anybody a job.

Businesses employ people, who provide labor in exchange for wages.

And, many poor and low income people are providing that labor in order for many businesses to thrive.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

I really worry for the future of our country - reading comprehension seems to be a vanishing skill.

I said what I said, which is nothing like what you commented.

Mike Ford 3 years, 2 months ago

my retired minister father with masters degree just rode the via rail train from Kenora, Ontario, to Quebec City and back to Windsor and Detroit. He had to convince some of the passengers on that train that not every one in the US in a raging backwards idiot. Some of you do a really good job of making other countries think that though. Canadians have had universal healthcare for forty years. I drove past GM, Ford, and Chrysler plants in southwest Ontario before Bush ruined our currency and economy and these plants don't have the legacy healthcare costs that US car plants have therefore the Canadian economy is in better shape than ours thanks to the loud ignorant obstructiveness of the tea party and the republicans. I have a high school classmate who's been in Norway now for over fifteen years as a musician who plays 150 dates a year throughout Scandinavia. They probably pay fifty percent in taxes but she rides trains everywhere for gigs has health care and and recently had paid maternity leave. I love how the dimwits here make fun of smart people.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 2 months ago

Many of us wish you luck when you go join her. Might even take up a collection for your moving expenses.

devobrun 3 years, 2 months ago

From 1947 until 1979 money that was invested in corporations grew because there was freedom to grow and there were things to invent. Energy production, plastics, electronics, and more abstract things like business relationships all grew. And grew and grew.

Today, we are out of ideas. Everything from communications to entertainment is derivative. How many times does Romeo and Juliet have to be remade? Facebook is embarrassing. The green revolution occurred during the years of 1947 and 1979. Today we have no such new crop growth. Instead of growing more crops because of the green revolution, we divert crops to fuel which is completely wasteful, because of the green political revolution.

And why is the innovation well so dry? Because after 1979 government took control of research. Proscripted innovation is no innovation at all. So todays innovation is completely abstract. Google and Facebook really don't do anything do they? Loyalty programs, frequent flier miles really aren't miles are they? Games really don't generate wealth do they? This computer generated created reality doesn't seem to be creating many jobs does it?

LTE is arguing about taxes and wealth shifting, like most left-wingers. And right-wingers argue back. And nothing new, innovative, or worth a tinkers-damn is accomplished. So long as the rhetoric continues along political lines, the real demon is ignored. New ideas are just games. Physics has generated nothing usable for decades. Social engineering crashed down amid drugs and gang warfare. We are spinning downward toward the third world.

And we worry about who is in the office of the president of the U.S..........a useless position as regards innovation and new jobs.

devobrun 3 years, 2 months ago

It's worse than that BAA. We not only produce nothing tradeable, but we endeavor to trade only in the abstract. Computer models of climate, finance, crop production.....the list is endless..... produce nothing. The Chinese don't engage in financial derivatives....unless to play the game to a limited extent. That is why they didn't get burned 3 years ago. We created an economy based upon computer-defined risk. It was wrong. The housing industry found out that it was wildly over-priced. Because it was all a computer-derived abstraction.....and wrong. What else in our economy is over-valued?

Research.
Research is not producing. It is the most alarming part of the slide. New ideas are over-valued because they aren't useful. Researchers at Universities, Government non-profits, and Government organizations like Harvard, JPL, and NIH are producing nothing that an engineer can use. We are bereft. The well is dry. The future is bleak. Actually turning an abstract notion into reality is the most dangerous activity in the western culture. Anything you try will modify the environment. Everything you do will be an afront to some socio-economic group. Do something......get sued.

And who cares what color, tribe, political party, religion, or anything the president of the U.S. is? He is useless to change the situation. This isn't about politics or government, it is about the American culture. We are wimps. We are through. It's over. If I was younger, I would learn Chinese and leave this tired old wind-bag of a country.

beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

LO: "Buffet owns shares in corporations. Those corporations pay taxes. That wouldn't show up on his personal income tax statement. Let's not be fooled by propaganda, shall we?"

Do you mean like being fooled to believe that shares in a corporation and working for a corporation should be taxed at a different rate? Why is an investment of money in the form of an investment in stocks be considered differently from someone who invests their time in that same company? In both instances, the corporation pays taxes (supposedly) as well as paying dividend returns and wages. So why the difference? Why is money invested more important in the eyes of the government that its return should be taxed at a lower rate than the return given a worker for his/her time?

Of course, we know the difference. The wealthy are the ones who write the laws and they do so to protect themselves.

The simple truth is, dividend returns should not be taxed at a lower rate than the income return for a worker's time.

beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

Did you just not get what I was saying, or is my sarcasm meter needing an adjusment?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

We said we didn't want it. Most people didn't even vote for it. In survey after survey, public opinion polls rank a large tax cut as one the least desirable uses of the federal budget surplus. And Republican and Democratic leaders alike have warned the President-select that his tax cut package will never emerge whole from Congress.

But all to no avail. George W. Bush has yet to back off from the monstrous, surplus-draining tax cut proposal that was the cornerstone of his campaign. Now he's even telling us that it's for our own good: His tax cut will cure our softening economy and stave off the threat of recession by "encouraging capital formation, economic growth, and job creation." Even Alan Greenspan, chair of the Federal Reserve Board and a debt-reduction hawk, is prepared to accommodate the Bush plan.

At least one group is happy to swallow the Bush tax cut medicine—"the haves and the haves-more," as Bush referred to his supporters during a fundraiser last year. After all, it is their taxes he will cut. Together, lower income tax rates (with the biggest drop at the top) and the repeal of the estate tax account for nearly three-quarters of the Bush tax cut.

Nearly three-fifths of the total benefits of the tax cut package will go to the richest 10% of all taxpayers, and some 43% will go just to the top 1%, those who make more than $319,000 a year and showed average income of $915,000 in 1999.

But no matter what Bush says, his tax giveaway to the wealthy will not inoculate us against recession. Nor are well-to-do taxpayers suffering from over-taxation, as the Bush team insists. One thing is sure. If the Bush tax cut goes through, social programs that have already been neglected for more than two decades will continue to suffer.

Details: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Because a 10 year-old article talking about Bush's campaign is just what everybody needs to read now.... Do you never cull your outdated material?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

How might we make better use of the projected surpluses in the federal budget? On that score, the Democrats are not much help. In reaction to the extremism of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, they are offering up a warmed-over Eisenhower-moderate-Republican proposal from the 1950s—use the surplus to pay down the debt.

But devoting the surplus to retiring government debt is unlikely to produce a more robust economy. Reduced government borrowing is intended to lower interest rates and thus juice up capital investment, which accelerates economic growth. In practice, however, government borrowing and interest rates are not closely correlated, and lower interest rates are seldom by themselves sufficient to coax balky investors to part with their money.

But if lower interest rates are the goal, the Federal Reserve can bring them down without expending the surplus. In fact, the Fed furiously lowered interest rates in the first two months of this year. Fed action makes sense, since it's the Fed's numerous hikes of the interest rate during 1999 and 2000 that helped to jeopardize the current economic expansion in the first place.

It's not hard to enumerate better uses of the budget surplus. To begin with, http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

We have projected surpluses in the federal budget? Woah.

Oh wait, you are just spamming ancient links.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 2 months ago

On a lighter note, if it rains tonight, it would be bath day for those at South Park!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

Taxes at the federal level is not the only source of getting duped not by a long shot... think locally : Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston presents : "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)." Johnston reveals how local government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the poor and the middle class to the rich and politically connected. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

People are working just as hard—actually harder, if you take into account work done off the books. They're working longer hours. Large corporate employers like Wal-Mart and restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have recently gotten in trouble for locking people in and making them work off the books, under the threat of losing their jobs. Some companies are refusing to pay overtime. When workers go to labor authorities to lodge complaints, budget cuts have ensured that there's nobody's there to listen, let alone act. http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

Mike Ford 3 years, 2 months ago

both ways....since I'm Choctaw and Biloxi Indian....why don't you leave.... I would leave but I'm afraid you'd turn this whole country into the double wide nation with am radios on the porch and paranoia and misinformation abounding....

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, you lost the war. Finders keepers. You leave.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

A habit obscene and unsavory Holds David Cay Johnson in slavery With lecherous howls He devours young owls That he keeps in an underground aviary. (from a source from a source from a source)

bearded_gnome 3 years, 2 months ago

While you may be paying a third to half of your income in federal taxes, Warren Buffett and others who make their living from dividends, capital gains and running a hedge fund only pay 15%. That's why Warrren Buffet's overall tax rate was around 17%.

---when you work, you earn your income. if you have enough left over, you can invest your money, as listed in this obama/envy economics quote.
one rationale for taxingdividends, cap gains, etc., at a lower rate is that you are risking your money by investing it!

sadly, the occuhippies and the fringies on here obviously lack proper education in economics, replace it with Obama/envy.

some people are too stupid to have $s. those people should be taxed at 100%!

weeslicket 3 years, 2 months ago

here's the link that got liberty one's undies into a twist. there have been artcles following this one, if you care to learn more. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2011/09/easy-as-pie-inequality-in-down.html

fortunately, liberty one has requested to no longer post in response to my posts. (because i am not libety one.) simplifies things, actually.

CHKNLTL 3 years, 2 months ago

Seen on OWS sign: "THE ONLY THING THAT TRICKLED DOWN WAS THE DEBT"

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

November 3, 2011 – Washington, DC

National Nurses United International Day of Action: Make Wall Street Pay

As the leaders of the G-20 nations meet in France November 3, 2011 to address the global economic crisis, join with nurses, consumer advocates and union allies as part of actions around the world to send a message from Main Street: Wall Street must pay for the devastation they’ve caused to our communities.

A Wall Street Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) can raise $350 billion per year in the U.S. to provide living wage jobs, guaranteed healthcare, a secure retirement for all, quality public education, good housing and protection from hunger. European workers want the benefits of the FTT in their own countries as well.

November 3, 2011, we will tell Congress and economic policy makers in Washington: Tax Wall Street.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 11:30 am — Lafayette Square 3:00 pm — Lobby on Capitol Hill

bolshavik_vw 3 years, 2 months ago

Tax the RIch! YES! What makes them any different than the rest of us? Nothing except for Money and greed. It is not right that they can cheat their way to the top. And step on us as they get to the top. I don't care if I won the Biggest Lottery or any Lottery tomorrow, or in the future. I would still pay taxes. I don't see why these people can get away with this, and still sleep at night.

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