Letter to the Editor: Tax math

September 24, 2012

To the editor:

Let’s do the math on the federal income taxes of a single person working full-time and making the minimum wage. That’s \$7.25 times a 40-hour week equals \$290, times 52 weeks equals \$15,080. The standard deduction is \$9,500, leaving \$5,580. Tax on 1040EZ 2011 equals \$558.

That \$558 may not seem like much to most people, but it is a lot for someone living on minimum wage.

byhsgrc 1 year, 7 months ago

What would be so wrong with a 30% tax for everyone? This would mean no deductions, no loop holes no nothing for anyone. If you make it you pay taxes on it. Better yet, let all the money go to the federal government and have the city, county and state hash it out with them for any money they need. In doing this we might find out who works the hardest for their people they are suppose to represent.

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atiopatioo 1 year, 7 months ago

American Tax Math:

As if on cue, we learned this morning the virtual bread line continues to grow like a weed. Food stamp users reach record high of 46,670,373 as of June 2012. As the United States' economic freedom goes down, its government dependency accelerates. Compare this to only four years ago, when there were 30,841,790 food stampers in October 2008, the dawning of the crash.

"Last year," our Daily Reckoner Eric Fry writes, ironically, from Nicaragua, "the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- i.e., food stamp program -- in the United States spent \$7.4 billion more than it did the year before. \$7.4 billion happens to be almost identical to the entire GDP of Nicaragua, a nation of 5.9 million inhabitants.

"SNAP used its additional \$7.4 billion to feed 4.4 million of America's poorest citizens. Meanwhile, all 5.9 million Nicaraguans -- rich and poor alike -- managed to 'live on' \$7.4 billion.

"Here in Nicaragua," Mr. Fry continues, "the government is too poor to operate a SNAP program. The government's entire annual budget is only about \$1.6 billion, which is less than 1/50th the size of the SNAP budget. (\$1.6 billion also happens to be the amount of customer money Jon Corzine 'lost' as CEO of MF Global. It's not easy to lose customer funds equal to a nation's entire annual budget and not go to jail, but Corzine pulled it off). So that means poor Nicaraguans must rely on themselves or their families for their daily bread... or else starve.

"Poor Americans, by contrast, need not rely on themselves or their families for their daily bread, because they can rely on the government. In fact, poor Americans can rely on the government's food stamp program for as long as they earn less than the official poverty threshold of \$10,896 per year, which is about four times the size of the average Nicaraguan income.

"These comparisons tell us little about how things ought to be, but they tell us a lot about how things are. Specifically, they tell us that the United States spends a spectacular amount of money trying to 'manage poverty.' And yet the more the U.S. tries to manage poverty, the more poverty spreads. The ever-expanding budget of the FNS does not beget self-reliance; it begets ever-expanding government reliance.

"Nevertheless," Eric writes, "the more poverty spreads in the U.S., the more agencies like the FNS portray government reliance as economically advantageous.

"Here's an idea: Provide help to those who need it; spare the rest of us the bogus economic theories that justify the government's intrusion into every nook and cranny of private life.

"It's good to feed the hungry; but it's also good to liberate the capitalistic forces that create opportunities for self-reliance. 'Give a man a fish,' as the saying goes, 'you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.'

(Agora Financial)

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2002 1 year, 7 months ago

I stand with conservatives on many issues, but minimum wage isn't one of them. I say raise minimum wage to a living wage. Although I wound't be against a 16-19 sector that are paid less in a student worker category. To bad if it inflates costs, we will either consume less or pay the difference.

This idea must be met with a repeal or modification of NAFTA and other free trade agreements. Free trade has screwed the middle class, especially the lower middle class over. Too many jobs have gone elsewhere and everyone can't be a software engineer or sell iPads.

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atiopatioo 1 year, 7 months ago

Tax Math:

http://brucekrasting.com/on-takers-and-payers/

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

On Takers and Payers Remember the big flap about the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act (AKA – Obamacare – ACA)? The issue that made the headlines was that the Supremes ruled that ACA was legal, provided that the penalty for not having health insurance was collected as a tax.

This is a big deal as the penalty (\$700 a year per person) was supposed to be the discipline that forced people to go out and buy their own insurance. One either acquires health insurance, or they pay a price.

The CBO took a look at this last week (link). The results surprised me. The reality is that few people will end up paying the penalties. So the basic premises of ACA is actually a fraud.

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Constitutional_Malfeasance 1 year, 7 months ago

Why zombie? Just stating a factual rebuttal to this letter. Do you have a problem with that? I'm new to the area and this website and so far, many commenters are rude and very intolerant of other types of views I've noticed.

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Constitutional_Malfeasance 1 year, 7 months ago

What about someone making \$250,000 a year who probably pays somewhere around \$65-75k in income tax, depending on their circumstances? I see that as a lot more painful. How many weeks pay does Craigs person in the letter pay in---less than two weeks pay. How many weeks pay is the person making \$250k paying in----roughly 12 or so weeks pay. It's noone's fault but their own someone who makes minimum wage then complains about paying less than \$600 in fed taxes. This is the class divisiveness that our current administration is pinning their re-election hopes on: demonize success.

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Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Wow. I'm getting old and my eyesight is failing. I thought this was going to be about taxing methamphetamine.

Thanks for the tax lesson. Math is hard.

\$558 is a lot of money to some people. It will be almost as much as the kid in his 20s that bought a bigger turbo for his Subaru instead of health insurance will forfeit \$700 of his tax return every year.

\$558 is a lot of money to some people, and half of America cheered the day the government was given another excuse for taking it.

Obamacare will create libertarians every year at tax time. What's not to like about that?

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George Lippencott 1 year, 7 months ago

Have you ever asked the question as to why you must pay federal income taxes and a family with a kid does not.

Our tax policy rewards having the kid early and penalizes you for deferring - perhaps with the intent of saving for that event or waiting until your job situation is more secure or rewarding?

Once upon a time we needed more children to support a growing economy. Today we can not find jobs for our existent population and are reacting to a climate change challenge that is certainly improved with a slower population growth.

Pandering maybe??

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headdoctor 1 year, 7 months ago

Raising the tax rates wont do squat. The tax code has been eroded so that very few are paying the higher percentages anyway. The people who would be hit the most on a tax percentage increase are those higher income wage earners who spend most of their annual income instead of managing it for the most tax benefits.

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JonasGrumby 1 year, 7 months ago

\$22.50 per hour would force merrill on a ramen diet since he would not be able to eat out or buy decent food at the market.

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Trumbull 1 year, 7 months ago

And returning to the pre-Bush rates for net income > \$250k will result in \$3,000 of additional taxes for every \$100,000 earned above 250k. This would seem to be a good problem to have. I call baloney to those who believe this is the great re-distribution of wealth to be feared.

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headdoctor 1 year, 7 months ago

That \$558 is \$558 more taxes paid than several hundred thousand filers with \$!00k income or higher or the lower than \$100k filers who on paper have a net worth a half million dollars or more. And yes those are part of the 47% Romney and company is whining about. Don't take my word for it. Look it up yourself. If you don't know where to start. Several links have been posted multiple times here on LJW.

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Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 7 months ago

The fallacy is believing that minimum wage jobs are full-time, living-wage, career occupations. They are not. Minimum wages are paid for jobs that require minimum skills and are lower responsibility levels.

Lawrence probably has an above average quantity of minimum wage jobs since it has an abundant supply of unskilled laborers and jobs for unskilled laborers (fast food, entry-level service, etc.)

In other words: Lawrence has a lot of jobs for teens and college students.

Perhaps that is because Lawrence has a lot of teens and college students. /s

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Considering those equations dictate 3 full time jobs to afford the luxury of Lawrence,Kansas when jobs are scarce. Obviously Lawrence does not need more minimum wage jobs.

Reckless local tax dollar spending dictates a minimum wage of \$22.50 per hour just to get by. Don't anyone hold their breath.

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