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(Think Progress)   Increasing taxes on the very wealthy not only raises tax revenue, but it makes it cheaper for middle-class and poor people to afford basic goods   (yglesias.thinkprogress.org) divider line 686
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2630 clicks; posted to Politics » on 12 Feb 2009 at 7:28 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-02-12 04:30:03 PM
I don't really understand why our highest tax bracket is so low.
 
2009-02-12 04:32:35 PM
DamnYankees: I don't really understand why our highest tax bracket is so low.

Ask yourself who can afford to lobby and donate to a candidate who promised lower taxes for the rich.

That's the only reason they were lowered. It has nothing to do with equality, fairness, or reality. Even Laffer himself said that his curve should not be used as an excuse to lower taxes for the rich.
 
2009-02-12 04:35:39 PM
absoluteparanoia: Ask yourself who can afford to lobby and donate to a candidate who promised lower taxes for the rich.

Well I knew 'why' in that sense. I was just speaking extemporaneously.
 
2009-02-12 04:36:09 PM
The funniest people are the ones who think that progressive taxation is a punishment for making more money.

If I said I would give you $65 if you picked me up some toilet paper on the way home, would you do it? What if I told you that I was actually giving you $100 but keeping $35 for myself?
 
2009-02-12 04:36:50 PM
DamnYankees: I don't really understand why our highest tax bracket is so low.

Because politicians are in the highest tax brackets.
 
2009-02-12 04:37:28 PM
Tax the rich. And then tax them again.
 
2009-02-12 04:40:46 PM
Lando Lincoln: Because politicians are in the highest tax brackets.

Just barely. The article talks about adding more brackets though, not increasing the rates for the current brackets.
 
2009-02-12 04:47:16 PM
DamnYankees: I don't really understand why our highest tax bracket is so low.

Low? Really? Tax rates are out the fark of control. Honestly I don't really care that much what anyone other than me gets charged but holy hell, I'm not making millions, and my total tax burden is close to 50% when you factor in every tax I have to pay (federal, state, social security property, gas, sales, etc., etc., etc). And you think that it should be higher for people who make more than I do? Holy shiat.
 
2009-02-12 04:47:34 PM
If they would just remove the whole offshore banking bullshiat we wouldn't keep having these conversations...
 
2009-02-12 04:49:39 PM
EatHam: And you think that it should be higher for people who make more than I do? Holy shiat.


You do know that quite a few of the really really rich opposed the last Bush tax cuts, right? If they don't have a problem with paying more WTF do you care?
 
2009-02-12 04:50:59 PM
DamnYankees: Well I knew 'why' in that sense. I was just speaking extemporaneously.

Does your mother know you talk like that?

Shame.
 
2009-02-12 04:51:21 PM
pwhp_67: If they don't have a problem with paying more WTF do you care?

If they don't have a problem with paying more, they can go right ahead - the treasury takes donations. Stop trying to get me to pay more though, I pay enough.
 
2009-02-12 04:53:34 PM
EatHam: pwhp_67: If they don't have a problem with paying more WTF do you care?

If they don't have a problem with paying more, they can go right ahead - the treasury takes donations. Stop trying to get me to pay more though, I pay enough.


Good luck with that. From what I can tell, both parties want to raise our taxes. they just want to spend the money on different things.
 
2009-02-12 04:54:17 PM
EatHam: I'm not making millions, and my total tax burden is close to 50% when you factor in every tax I have to pay (federal, state, social security property, gas, sales, etc., etc., etc). And you think that it should be higher for people who make more than I do? Holy shiat.

The sort of exactly the point. We need to lower taxes on poorer/average people and raise them in richer people.
 
2009-02-12 04:54:55 PM
EatHam: If they don't have a problem with paying more, they can go right ahead - the treasury takes donations. Stop trying to get me to pay more though, I pay enough.

Unless you make over 350K or so, no one wants to make you pay more. Did you even read the freaking link?
 
2009-02-12 04:55:26 PM
Weaver95: From what I can tell, both parties want to raise our taxes.


It looks like the Dems are trying to lower taxes for the middle class while the GOP, as usual, wants to lower them for the top 5% only...
 
2009-02-12 04:55:49 PM
DamnYankees: The sort of exactly the point. We need to lower taxes on poorer/average people and raise them in richer people.

Or we could lower it for everyone... I mean, I would never suggest that your money should be stolen, and I wouldn't want mine stolen, and I wouldn't suggest that just because someone has more of it that it should be mine instead of theirs. That's just wrong.
 
2009-02-12 04:57:43 PM
People still haven't figured that those "evil rich people" and the "private investors" that the market needs so bad are one and same. How do people figure demonizing them on one side of the face and begging them to invest from the other side of the face is a smart thing to do?
 
2009-02-12 04:58:25 PM
EatHam: Or we could lower it for everyone... I mean, I would never suggest that your money should be stolen, and I wouldn't want mine stolen, and I wouldn't suggest that just because someone has more of it that it should be mine instead of theirs. That's just wrong.

Good thing no one wants to steal your money, then.
 
2009-02-12 04:59:03 PM
EatHam: I mean, I would never suggest that your money should be stolen, and I wouldn't want mine stolen, and I wouldn't suggest that just because someone has more of it that it should be mine instead of theirs.

Oh, you're one of those guys. "Tax is theft." Suuure it is.
 
2009-02-12 04:59:25 PM
DamnYankees: The sort of exactly the point. We need to lower taxes on poorer/average people and raise them in richer people.

Actually the point is to shrink the government and add efficiency so that taxes can go down.
 
2009-02-12 04:59:33 PM
EatHam: Or we could lower it for everyone... I mean, I would never suggest that your money should be stolen,


Yeah yeah yeah, we've heard you sing this song before. The government is here to stay buddy and someone has to pay for it. For me it makes sense that people who benefit from the wars and corporate welfare pay their share into the pot. Read up on offshore banking and then see if you have any tears for the rich...
 
2009-02-12 04:59:37 PM
DamnYankees: Good thing no one wants to steal your money, then.

And I don't want to steal anyone else's either. The problem is that I appear to be in the minority.
 
2009-02-12 04:59:47 PM
GaryPDX: People still haven't figured that those "evil rich people" and the "private investors" that the market needs so bad are one and same.

Actually, it's demand that drives the market, not investment.
 
2009-02-12 05:02:12 PM
jonasborg: Actually the point is to shrink the government and add efficiency so that taxes can go down.

So - what's the proper proportion of size of government to size of nation?
 
2009-02-12 05:02:26 PM
hillbillypharmacist: GaryPDX: People still haven't figured that those "evil rich people" and the "private investors" that the market needs so bad are one and same.

Actually, it's demand that drives the market, not investment.


Then why is Obama saying he needs private investment capital so much for the economy to recover? It looks like only institutions are predominantly left, except for people blindly doing 401k contributions.
 
2009-02-12 05:02:36 PM
hillbillypharmacist: Actually, it's demand that drives the market, not investment.


You're wasting your time. These two think Reaganomics worked...
 
2009-02-12 05:03:17 PM
It makes sense:
Give a super-rich dude a $50,000 tax break and he throws it on the pile (the pile, more often than not, being in an offshore account).

Give a working slob like me a $5,000 break and I'm going to take that $5,000 and spend it on stuff. Porn, mostly, but I'm sure there will be some domestically-made hard goods in the mix.
 
2009-02-12 05:03:45 PM
hillbillypharmacist: Oh, you're one of those guys. "Tax is theft." Suuure it is.

I would rather not be one of those guys. I would rather be one of the guys who feels that he gets value for his money. But I'm not. I've ordered a laptop and received a box filled with dirt.

pwhp_67: The government is here to stay buddy and someone has to pay for it. For me it makes sense that people who benefit from the wars and corporate welfare pay their share into the pot. Read up on offshore banking and then see if you have any tears for the rich...

I am familiar with offshore banking, and the various tax benefits it has for the people who do it. I am also aware that the government is not going to go away. Nor do I want it to. I want to feel that when I give almost half of my income to the government that it is not being either used for toilet paper or lit on fire.
 
2009-02-12 05:04:46 PM
jonasborg: Actually the point is to shrink the government and add efficiency so that taxes can go down.

There's a distinct difference in reducing the power of government and increasing its efficiency. I'm all for the latter- shoot, if we had a team of 6 IT guys that ran supercomputers that printed off checks and bills for our taxes, we should be on that like white on rice.
 
2009-02-12 05:05:52 PM
hillbillypharmacist: There's a distinct difference in reducing the power of government and increasing its efficiency.

Well, true enough, but both are worthy goals.
 
2009-02-12 05:06:42 PM
EatHam: I want to feel that when I give almost half of my income to the government that it is not being either used for toilet paper or lit on fire.


That is an entirely different conversation than tax rates.

Take this economy we have now. With the Iraq sinkhole and the banks collapsing and millions of jobs gone - you can bet your ass somebody's taxes would go up even without a lick of wasteful spending...
 
2009-02-12 05:07:35 PM
pwhp_67: That is an entirely different conversation than tax rates.

Sort of. My point is kind of that I wouldn't really be so mad about it if I felt like I was getting anything of value.
 
2009-02-12 05:08:50 PM
GaryPDX: Then why is Obama saying he needs private investment capital so much for the economy to recover?

1. The stimulus is mostly tax cuts and spending.

2. And that's a different situation entirely. We need capital not because people weren't investing, it's because we literally ran out of capital.
 
2009-02-12 05:13:30 PM
hillbillypharmacist: 2. And that's a different situation entirely. We need capital not because people weren't investing, it's because we literally ran out of capital.

I still don't understand why printing money would be a bad solution.
 
2009-02-12 05:14:59 PM
EatHam: My point is kind of that I wouldn't really be so mad about it if I felt like I was getting anything of value.


Bill Hicks does a great routine on how Congress likes to ask us to "tighten our belts" after they've misspent our money and farked the economy...
 
2009-02-12 05:23:35 PM
I still see nothing wrong with taxing those that can afford it to help the majority.
 
2009-02-12 05:29:47 PM
People who start earning this kind of big-time CEO money would, I think, almost literally not miss the money

The thinking that rich people don't NEED the money is NEVER a good enough justification, in my mind, to allow the state to seize the fruits of their labor.
 
2009-02-12 05:30:19 PM
GAT_00: I still see nothing wrong with taxing those that can afford it to help the majority.

Because it's "not fair." And contrary to public opinion, life IS fair. No, it is. It really is.
 
2009-02-12 05:31:12 PM
KaponoFor3: The thinking that rich people don't NEED the money is NEVER a good enough justification, in my mind, to allow the state to seize the fruits of their labor.

That has nothing to do with it. The question is once we realize we need a certain amount of money, who the hell are we gonna get it from? You have to take it from richer people or poorer people.
 
2009-02-12 05:33:06 PM
DamnYankees: That has nothing to do with it.

It does in the article, at least.

DamnYankees: The question is once we realize we need a certain amount of money, who the hell are we gonna get it from?

That presupposes that we really do need X amount of dollars. I think that is a rather large assumption to be making.
 
2009-02-12 05:34:26 PM
KaponoFor3: The thinking that rich people don't NEED the money is NEVER a good enough justification, in my mind, to allow the state to seize the fruits of their labor.

Societies that have a balanced distribution are more stable. Right now the rich have so much money in proportion to population that we're starting to resemble pre-Revolution France. Societies where the rich live like in our, separated from the public with better facilities and better health, have all failed. Every single one of them. Tax the rich.
 
2009-02-12 05:35:28 PM
KaponoFor3: That presupposes that we really do need X amount of dollars. I think that is a rather large assumption to be making.

No matter what X is, you have to tax someone.
 
2009-02-12 05:35:44 PM
KaponoFor3: It does in the article, at least.

No it doesn't. The article is about how prices on stuff would go down for all of us if we raised taxes on higher income levels. It has nothing to do with what rich people 'need'.

KaponoFor3: That presupposes that we really do need X amount of dollars. I think that is a rather large assumption to be making.

It's not an 'assumption'. They are merely two different questions. First the government draws up a budget. Then it comes up with a tax scheme to get the money. The argument about raising taxes on the higher brackets is entirely about the latter issue. So stop arguing the former.

Even if our current budget was much smaller, I'd still advocate raising taxes on the higher brackets and lowering at the poorer brackets.
 
2009-02-12 05:41:20 PM
hillbillypharmacist: No matter what X is, you have to tax someone.

Sure you do, but then we are really discussing matters of degree.

DamnYankees: It has nothing to do with what rich people 'need'.

FTA: People who start earning this kind of big-time CEO money would, I think, almost literally not miss the money. Must of what you're buying with your extra cash at that point is luxury items whose prices are bid up by the fact that there all are these other people also earning huge salaries.

That is basically saying they don't NEED the money -- they won't miss it, only use it to buy luxury items, etc (totally ignoring that the luxury item manufacturer employs people as well, but that's another story).

DamnYankees: It's not an 'assumption'. They are merely two different questions. First the government draws up a budget. Then it comes up with a tax scheme to get the money. The argument about raising taxes on the higher brackets is entirely about the latter issue. So stop arguing the former.

You cannot untangle the two like you would prefer to do. Only focusing on the second presupposes that everything the government wants to put in its budget is a good idea or a useful way to spend money. I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of not being able to challenge government expenditures.

Remember, the government works on behalf of its citizenry -- it's not the other way around.
 
2009-02-12 05:43:44 PM
DamnYankees: So - what's the proper proportion of size of government to size of nation?

This question doesn't make sense. There is no proper proportion. It's about efficiency of process and the resulting downsizing that happens. If they want to spend the money, don't spend it on maintenance, care and feeding. Become more efficient and spend it on advancement of the USA.
 
2009-02-12 05:45:21 PM
KaponoFor3: I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of not being able to challenge government expenditures.

You do. You can vote. Just because you're in the minority doesn't mean that the US is somehow broken or flawed.
 
2009-02-12 05:48:05 PM
pwhp_67
You do know that quite a few of the really really rich opposed the last Bush tax cuts, right? If they don't have a problem with paying more WTF do you care?


They already effectively pay lower rates than the middle class anyway. Remember Warren Buffet's challenge to Fortune 100 execs? If they can prove that they pay a lower overall rate in taxation than their secretaries, he'll give them a million bucks. They can't because they pay less.

That's partly because of loopholes, but it's largely because the bulk of their income comes from equities. They are taxed at the much lower capital gains rate instead of the income tax rate.

The salaries shown in TFA aren't even close to what those guys really make in total compensation from their companies.

On a related note, we've had wealth redistribution in full effect for at least the last 20-30 years, but it's not trickling down from the top to the bottom. It's going from the bottom and middle to the top. The richest Americans continue to increase their percentage of the overall wealth.
 
2009-02-12 05:48:11 PM
KaponoFor3: That is basically saying they don't NEED the money -- they won't miss it, only use it to buy luxury items, etc (totally ignoring that the luxury item manufacturer employs people as well, but that's another story).

Why didn't you hold the second half the sentence? His whole point is that these items go way up in price because rich people literally have no other uses for their money so they can afford to pay a ton, so retailers might as well charge them a ton. If you lop of some of that incredible wealth via taxes they would still have the same luxury items but at a lower price. That was the whole point of that sentence - you even quoted it!

KaponoFor3: You cannot untangle the two like you would prefer to do.

Not perfectly. But you similarly should not treat them as the same issue, as I think you have a tendency to do.

KaponoFor3: Only focusing on the second presupposes that everything the government wants to put in its budget is a good idea or a useful way to spend money.

No it isn't. It only presupposes that as citizens we have a duty to pay taxes even if we don't like the stuff we're paying taxes for. If you hate what you have to pay taxes for, then elect different people and change the code.

KaponoFor3: I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of not being able to challenge government expenditures.

No one is stopping you from doing this. I have no idea where you are even getting this from.

This thread is all about how we apportion the tax burden - not how we arrived at that burden in the first place. It's an important issue unto itself, but a different one.

KaponoFor3: Remember, the government works on behalf of its citizenry -- it's not the other way around.

On some level, of course. But its sort of like a corporation which works for the shareholders but often has to make decisions the shareholders don't like. The government works for us, but also has a duty to do things we don't necessarily like at that moment. A quick example is paying back debt - no one likes to pay back debt, and no taxpayer enjoys having their tax money just being shipped off to China in payment of a loan. But the people who run government must pay back those loans even if we don't necessarily like it. To borrow the phrase from corporate law, they have a fiduciary duty to the country which is not the same thing as merely following the current desires of the population.
 
2009-02-12 05:48:19 PM
hillbillypharmacist: You do. You can vote. Just because you're in the minority doesn't mean that the US is somehow broken or flawed.

Well, yeah, I know that. But under damnyankees proposition, he was presupposing that everything in the budget is a valid expenditure that justifies taxpayers' dollars being spent on that. I don't think that is a valid assumption. You can't examine solely how to raise the money to cover the budget in a vacuum, as that essentially cedes to the government the right to put whatever expenditures they so choose in the budget.
 
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