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Thanks Obama for the working class tax cuts





handfleisch
My friend just got good news from his tax consultant about his large tax return this year, a four-figure increase over last year. I reminded him of the reason -- Obama's tax cuts for 90+% of US taxpayers, which ingeniously balanced by his slight repair of the historically low tax rates of the top 10%.

Contrast this to the Bush one-time "rebate" that just sent a chunk of money to everyone, increasing the deficit while further obliterating the surplus he inherited. In hindsight, Bush's rebate might have made the great recession even worse.

Unlike with the rebate, my friend can look forward to this good news next year too, and he is really being helped out by Obama's move, just as the stimulus bill is helping people with jobs while investing in the infrastructure of America.

http://20somethingfinance.com/when-will-obamas-tax-cuts-take-effect/
Quote:

When Will Obama’s Tax Cuts Take Effect?

If you’re married and making less than $250,000 ($200,000 as an individual), you’re probably going to see your taxes drop. But when will Obama’s tax refunds take effect? First, let’s take a look at what you might be saving under Obama’s tax plan.
How Much will my Taxes be Cut Under Obama?

* So long as Obama’s plan does as it promises, you will see:
* A tax refund of $500 per individual ($1,000 per married couple) if you’re making under $200,000 ($250,000 if married). If under those thresholds you will also not see your tax rate increase.
* If you’re a homeowner and don’t itemize your taxes, you can claim a 10% Universal Mortgage Credit. This averages out to $500 per homeowner.
* Your capital gains tax rate will stay the same unless you’re making more than the ‘$200K/$250K’ threshold. If you’re over, it’ll go up 25%.
Afaceinthematrix
Thanks Obama! I always loved these tax "cuts" that allow me to make 35% extra this year (that I paid taxes for... about the same percentage) and get back only 30% of what I got back last year...

Oh, and middle class? If you're making less than $250,000 a year? How many people honestly consider that to be middle class? That seems more like helping the wealthy also because a quarter million dollars a year is a ton of money... Of course that includes everything below... like the true middle class people making $40,000-$50.000 a year...
ocalhoun
Yes, take from the rich, give to the poor... A great way to buy votes, but how is it fair?
(Yes, I make less than $200,000. No, nobody who makes more than that told me to say this.)
deanhills
I just marvel at the creativity of ruling Governments fiddling with taxes to score brownie points. When they start their election campaign I can just imagine tax cut ideas being first on the marketing list and employing a whole team of expensive consultants to work on a really novel "tax cut" idea.
hunnyhiteshseth
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere. Even in India, the Indian government has given tax rebate for middle class.
ocalhoun
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


So everybody is yelling "we want lower taxes", and then when taxes are lowered, it's buying votes? Seems a no-win situation, or just a no-win argument
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.
Perhaps the Indian government copied it. There are many strategies in the United States that are applied in the rest of the world. The equivalent of medical technology as well. I sometimes think people in countries outside the United States, make a greater and deeper study of the Government of the United States, than they do of their own Governments.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


So everybody is yelling "we want lower taxes", and then when taxes are lowered, it's buying votes? Seems a no-win situation, or just a no-win argument

Wait, taxes were lowered? When did I miss that news story?

Taxes only get rearranged unless spending decreases. In this case, they get rearranged so the largest possible number of likely voters gets a tax cut. Who gets the increase?
1: The wealthy, a relatively small number of votes.
2: The people of the future (when the debt comes due), they don't matter because the current politicians won't be around to be voted out by them anyway.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


So everybody is yelling "we want lower taxes", and then when taxes are lowered, it's buying votes? Seems a no-win situation, or just a no-win argument

Wait, taxes were lowered? When did I miss that news story?

Taxes only get rearranged unless spending decreases. In this case, they get rearranged so the largest possible number of likely voters gets a tax cut. Who gets the increase?
1: The wealthy, a relatively small number of votes.
2: The people of the future (when the debt comes due), they don't matter because the current politicians won't be around to be voted out by them anyway.
Well said. It is all about presentation and the appearance of a tax cut, and doing that with a section of the population that potentially has the most votes.
hunnyhiteshseth
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


Nah, in Indian case we just had elections in 2009 and next elections will be held in 2014. So, it does not seem to be behind this. Infact, at the same time government has increased price of petrol & diesel which is quite unpopular move. Government was able to take this step because next election are far off.

Quote:

Perhaps the Indian government copied it. There are many strategies in the United States that are applied in the rest of the world. The equivalent of medical technology as well. I sometimes think people in countries outside the United States, make a greater and deeper study of the Government of the United States, than they do of their own Governments.


Also not possible, Indian government rarely copies other countries because whenever it has tried so, it has failed.. :-p
deanhills
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Also not possible, Indian government rarely copies other countries because whenever it has tried so, it has failed.. :-p
I don't know about that. Some may not consciously copy a particular strategy, it could be done laterally such as lateral science findings that sometimes surface across the globe simultaneously. I'm sure quite a few basics that are the same in other countries are working in the Indian Government?
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


So everybody is yelling "we want lower taxes", and then when taxes are lowered, it's buying votes? Seems a no-win situation, or just a no-win argument

Wait, taxes were lowered? When did I miss that news story?

Taxes only get rearranged unless spending decreases. In this case, they get rearranged so the largest possible number of likely voters gets a tax cut. Who gets the increase?
1: The wealthy, a relatively small number of votes.
2: The people of the future (when the debt comes due), they don't matter because the current politicians won't be around to be voted out by them anyway.


They weren't lowered. This article was posted back in 2008 when Obama was busy making promises. The ‘calculator' is hosted on Obama’s campaign site and is nothing more than a marketing ploy.
Quote:
Submitted by G.E. Miller on Sunday, 16 November 2008


But obviously some people fell for it hook, line and sinker. Obama’s budget won’t go into effect until the 2010 fiscal year, while any refund in taxes the “friend” will see are based on the tax code passed during Bush’s term. The real implications will be seen as some tax brackets are adjusted upward as Obama and the Democrats force the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. And taxes will have to rise drastically again after 2010 to pay for the Obama’s spending spree, unless he turns around and dramatically shrinks the size of government, which seems very unlikely.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


So everybody is yelling "we want lower taxes", and then when taxes are lowered, it's buying votes? Seems a no-win situation, or just a no-win argument

Wait, taxes were lowered? When did I miss that news story?

Taxes only get rearranged unless spending decreases. In this case, they get rearranged so the largest possible number of likely voters gets a tax cut. Who gets the increase?
1: The wealthy, a relatively small number of votes.
2: The people of the future (when the debt comes due), they don't matter because the current politicians won't be around to be voted out by them anyway.


They weren't lowered. This article was posted back in 2008 when Obama was busy making promises. The ‘calculator' is hosted on Obama’s campaign site and is nothing more than a marketing ploy.
Quote:
Submitted by G.E. Miller on Sunday, 16 November 2008


But obviously some people fell for it hook, line and sinker. Obama’s budget won’t go into effect until the 2010 fiscal year, while any refund in taxes the “friend” will see are based on the tax code passed during Bush’s term. The real implications will be seen as some tax brackets are adjusted upward as Obama and the Democrats force the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. And taxes will have to rise drastically again after 2010 to pay for the Obama’s spending spree, unless he turns around and dramatically shrinks the size of government, which seems very unlikely.


I notice you didn't link to any source on that.

This source, a non-partisan one, says you are wrong:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jan/28/barack-obama/tax-cut-95-percent-stimulus-made-it-so/
Quote:

Tax cut for 95 percent? The stimulus made it so

Obama's claim is based on a tax cut intended to offset payroll taxes. Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

The tax cut was part of Obama's campaign promises. During the campaign, Obama said he wanted $500 for each worker and $1,000 for working couples. Since the final number was a bit less than he promised, we rated his promise a Compromise on our Obameter, where we rate Obama's campaign promises for fulfillment.

During the campaign, the independent Tax Policy Center researched how Obama's tax proposals would affect workers. It concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama's plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes. According to the analysis, the people who wouldn't get a tax cut are those who make more than $250,000 for couples or $200,000 for a single person. Obama said he intended to raise taxes on those high earners, a promise he reiterated during the State of the Union, and that revenue would offset the stimulus tax cut.

Because the stimulus act did give that broad-based tax cut to workers, we rate Obama's statement True.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
I do not know if I should comment here or not, but strangely thats a phenomenon happening everywhere.

It's called buying votes, and is usually pretty effective, hence it being widespread.


So everybody is yelling "we want lower taxes", and then when taxes are lowered, it's buying votes? Seems a no-win situation, or just a no-win argument

Wait, taxes were lowered? When did I miss that news story?

Taxes only get rearranged unless spending decreases. In this case, they get rearranged so the largest possible number of likely voters gets a tax cut. Who gets the increase?
1: The wealthy, a relatively small number of votes.
2: The people of the future (when the debt comes due), they don't matter because the current politicians won't be around to be voted out by them anyway.


They weren't lowered. This article was posted back in 2008 when Obama was busy making promises. The ‘calculator' is hosted on Obama’s campaign site and is nothing more than a marketing ploy.
Quote:
Submitted by G.E. Miller on Sunday, 16 November 2008


But obviously some people fell for it hook, line and sinker. Obama’s budget won’t go into effect until the 2010 fiscal year, while any refund in taxes the “friend” will see are based on the tax code passed during Bush’s term. The real implications will be seen as some tax brackets are adjusted upward as Obama and the Democrats force the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. And taxes will have to rise drastically again after 2010 to pay for the Obama’s spending spree, unless he turns around and dramatically shrinks the size of government, which seems very unlikely.


I notice you didn't link to any source on that.


Source for what? That Obama’s budget won’t go into effect until the 2010 fiscal year? I figured that was pretty much common knowledge. That’s simply how it works.




handfleisch wrote:
This source, a non-partisan one, says you are wrong:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jan/28/barack-obama/tax-cut-95-percent-stimulus-made-it-so/

I’m glad to see that one small rebate (which you seemed to rail against in your opening post when you pointed out that Bush did it) went to workers. Instead of mailing out the check as Bush did so that it was spent in a short time to spur the economy, Obama simply used the IRS to dole out the rebate over the year.

handfleisch wrote:
Contrast this to the Bush one-time "rebate" that just sent a chunk of money to everyone, increasing the deficit while further obliterating the surplus he inherited. In hindsight, Bush's rebate might have made the great recession even worse.




From your article:
Quote:
Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.


In essence they are the same thing, and the rebate showed up as small increments in paychecks, not as part of a refund your “friend” received. Not really a “large tax return this year, a four-figure increase over last year” that you claimed. But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is. As I’ve criticized Bush about, however, in tandem there must be cost cuts. It makes no sense to keep spending as if there is unlimited money because eventually someone (i.e. the American taxpayer) has to pay the bill. Despite the rebate and as much as I wish it wasn’t so, overall taxes for workers are going up under Obama’s budget. A worker may get a $400 rebate this year, but when you add up all the tax increases that are going to go into effect to pay for Obama’s spending spree, that $400 rebate is chump change compared to the trillions Obama has racked up. Overall, taxes are going up and trying to claim, ‘well this one thing here didn’t go up’ as a justification of the claim against that reality is just foolhardy.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is. As I’ve criticized Bush about, however, in tandem there must be cost cuts. It makes no sense to keep spending as if there is unlimited money because eventually someone (i.e. the American taxpayer) has to pay the bill. Despite the rebate and as much as I wish it wasn’t so, overall taxes for workers are going up under Obama’s budget. A worker may get a $400 rebate this year, but when you add up all the tax increases that are going to go into effect to pay for Obama’s spending spree, that $400 rebate is chump change compared to the trillions Obama has racked up. Overall, taxes are going up and trying to claim, ‘well this one thing here didn’t go up’ as a justification of the claim against that reality is just foolhardy.


It is very hard to follow your point, since you make contradictory statements. First you correct your previous error and admit that Obama has enacted a working class tax cut for 95% of us, that is in effect now (took effect in 2009, the returns are coming in now). So far, so good. But then you say "overall taxes for workers are going up under Obama’s budget". These two statements are contradictory. That's because the second one is not true. Overall taxes for workers are going down.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is. As I’ve criticized Bush about, however, in tandem there must be cost cuts. It makes no sense to keep spending as if there is unlimited money because eventually someone (i.e. the American taxpayer) has to pay the bill. Despite the rebate and as much as I wish it wasn’t so, overall taxes for workers are going up under Obama’s budget. A worker may get a $400 rebate this year, but when you add up all the tax increases that are going to go into effect to pay for Obama’s spending spree, that $400 rebate is chump change compared to the trillions Obama has racked up. Overall, taxes are going up and trying to claim, ‘well this one thing here didn’t go up’ as a justification of the claim against that reality is just foolhardy.


It is very hard to follow your point, since you make contradictory statements. First you correct your previous error and admit that Obama has enacted a working class tax cut for 95% of us, that is in effect now (took effect in 2009, the returns are coming in now). So far, so good. But then you say "overall taxes for workers are going up under Obama’s budget". These two statements are contradictory. That's because the second one is not true. Overall taxes for workers are going down.


I think the confusion lies in your basic misunderstanding of how the US tax system works. Obama did not somehow cut taxes, but provided a rebate using IRS procedures to dole out the rebate over the year instead of in one lump sum as Bush did. Rebates are not tax cuts, however, but temporary ‘credits’ in anticipation of tax payments at the end of the year. The payroll tax rate system is a tool used by the IRS to deduct taxes from workers’ paychecks throughout the year instead of making them pay their tax bill all at one at the end of the year. This is done for a few reasons:
    1. It provides the federal government with a more steady stream of ‘revenue’ throughout the year as people pay toward their anticipated taxes. The alternative would be that the fed would have to wait until April 15 of the next year for workers to pay their all of their tax bill, and the government would then have to rely on that yearly infusion to pay for programs for the following year. As we all know the federal government can’t effectively manage its way out of a paper bag, so asking it to manage the taxpayer money for a whole year has proven too hard for it. Hence the separate payroll tax rate system.

    2. It effectively clouds the amount of taxes people are paying on an annual basis. If people had to write out a check at the end of the year for their entire tax liability, there would be many more calls for tax reduction. Instead, it seems more ‘painless’ to pay 1/52nd of it every week or 1/26th of it every two week (depending on your pay cycle), and taxpayers don’t really pay attention to it as much when they see the smaller allocation taken from their paycheck.

    3. The left wing has made a case that some people are bad at managing their own money, and that the federal government can do it better. I think you know how I feel about that from a principle perspective, but there is a case that there are some who have been conditioned to rely on the federal government rather than themselves. So if that minority was asked to set aside a certain portion of their earnings in anticipation of their yearend tax liability, they would blow through the money and end up in debt to the IRS when the bill came due. While we don’t have “debtor prisons’ here in the US, the IRS will put you in jail for avoiding taxes. This is the moral hazard of instituting left-wing programs that foster reliance on the government rather than the self. Even being conservative, it would be much better for those who are able to put a portion of their earnings into some interest-bearing account throughout the year, pay their tax liability at the end of the year and making a small profit from the interest. Someone could be much more risky and invest that money into a business, start their own business, etc., leading to a multiplier effect that would then create more jobs. They could even pay off high-interest debt, etc., and save themselves the interest they are paying credit cards, etc. But of course that still means they would have to pay the federal tax bill at the end of the year.


For a more concrete example, say someone is making $52,000 a year ($1,000 per week) and he is in the 30% tax rate. His yearend liability would be $15,600. If the payroll tax rate is 10%,* that means he would pay $100 per week toward his anticipated tax liability. At the end of the year, he would have paid $5,200 toward his taxes, so he would now owe and additional $10,100. If the payroll tax rate is lowered, to say 5%, that doesn’t reduce the taxes he pays, but just means he pays more at the end instead of as he goes through the year. In this example, he would have paid $2,600 during the year and would have to pay an additional $13,000 by April 15.

So with all that in mind, Obama’s manipulation of the payroll tax rate system really isn’t a tax cut, but a reduction in the rate that workers are paying forward toward their anticipated tax liability. The amount of taxes they have to pay at the end of the year remains the same, but they just pay less of it up front. The “large tax return” you claim your “friend” received which a “four-figure increase over last year” was simply was not due to any tax cut Obama passed. If anything, rebates reduce refunds because workers are paying less forward. While your claim that taxes have been reduced is faulty, I’m at least happy that workers have more money in their pocket throughout the year. That’s why I said “I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is.” Hope that helps clear the tax system up for you a bit.

The other point that "overall taxes for workers are going up under Obama’s budget" is simple enough and a simple case of cause and effect. Obama is spending like a drunken sailor, and eventually the trillions that he is funneling into pet projects will have to be repaid by taxpayers, hence the increase in overall taxes.


*The payroll tax rate is usually lower than the real tax rate to account for anticipated credits, deductions, etc.
handfleisch
[quote="jmi256"]
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is.


Good.

A long explanation of the payroll tax system and yet another rant about "the left wing" doesn't change the fact that Obama's promise to give this tax break to 90+% of working Americans has come true this year, which I said in the first place. Nor does it in any way prove your assertion that taxes are going up for working Americans. I am afraid that, once again, the factual basis of your argument has been shown to be untrue.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is.


Good.

A long explanation of the payroll tax system and yet another rant about "the left wing" doesn't change the fact that Obama's promise to give this tax break to 90+% of working Americans has come true this year, which I said in the first place. Nor does it in any way prove your assertion that taxes are going up for working Americans. I am afraid that, once again, the factual basis of your argument has been shown to be untrue.

Yes, but you must admit the flip side of that- With all this recent spending making trillion-dollar legislation seem ordinary, taxes overall must go up, either now, or even more in the future to pay off the debt.

Do you not see this as a problem as long as the 'workers' aren't the ones getting the increase?
Dennise
We have all been brainwashed into thinking it's all a balance between taxing and spending. Actually, a very large part of our fiscal problem is simply the size of our enormous government itself and the resulting cost to pay that huge underlying mass of government workers, their perks and their infrastructure.

While you still can, if you can, take a look at the 'Blue Pages' some time. You will not believe the number of agencies, sub agencies, departments and sub departments there are in all levels of government. There are department heads, assistant department heads, support staffs and staff to support the support staffs. It's unending. There are administrations about which no one has any idea what they do ............ and these are just he known bureaucracies! Think about this.

How does any manager (public OR private) improve his position and income? The answer is by increasing his staff size. In the private world, this is much more difficult because of competitive pressures. But in government, it's relatively easier because there IS no competitive pressure and there IS little oversight. Now as the number of bureaucrats grows, and someone sees the waste and desires to reduce the unneeded legions of government excess workers ........ a backlash results. What is to become of all the poor laid off workers. The answer is no one has the guts to do it and take on the mantle of the bad guy. It will never happen and the legions of unnecessary government workers will balloon until the tax rolls needed to support that behemoth collapse.
It's only a matter of time.

And remember, those that have power to reduce government have the least to gain by doing so.
deanhills
Dennise wrote:
We have all been brainwashed into thinking it's all a balance between taxing and spending. Actually, a very large part of our fiscal problem is simply the size of our enormous government itself and the resulting cost to pay that huge underlying mass of government workers, their perks and their infrastructure.
Excellent point. And no wonder in all of that enormous Tower of Babel of Departments, Sub-Departments and Programmes, that when it gets to safety and security issues, such as the attempted terrorism act during December, that the left hands and right hands don't communicate essential information to one another and one discovers how many chiefs there are. Why can't they get back to being a real Federal Government with minimum infrastructure and allow the States to run their own affairs? A good start would be the healthcare reform bill. If the State of Massachusetts can find its own way to covering all its citizens with medical insurance, why can't it serve as a model for other States? And let States find their own solutions. Why does it have to be dictated and administrated by the Federal Government at the price of trillions of dollars?

Ditto taxes. Why should taxes be administrated Federally? Why not by the States themselves, and then they decide how much the Federal Government should be allocated, for essential federal services?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is.


Good.

A long explanation of the payroll tax system and yet another rant about "the left wing" doesn't change the fact that Obama's promise to give this tax break to 90+% of working Americans has come true this year, which I said in the first place. Nor does it in any way prove your assertion that taxes are going up for working Americans. I am afraid that, once again, the factual basis of your argument has been shown to be untrue.

Yes, but you must admit the flip side of that- With all this recent spending making trillion-dollar legislation seem ordinary, taxes overall must go up, either now, or even more in the future to pay off the debt.

Do you not see this as a problem as long as the 'workers' aren't the ones getting the increase?


Taxes are historically low right now, especially for the top income brackets. If 10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth, they are going to have to pay a proportionate share of the taxes. It's just common sense.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Taxes are historically low right now, especially for the top income brackets.

Yeah, but I'm not concerned with one single group's taxation.
Not the top 10%, not 'workers', not the poor, et cetera.
Here's government tax income over time (the green line) corrected for inflation:

Now, tell me, are taxes historically low?
Quote:
If 10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth, they are going to have to pay a proportionate share of the taxes. It's just common sense.

I agree completely. They should pay a proportionate share of the taxes.
Problem is, they don't. They pay a disproportionate share because the tax code takes a larger percentage from those who earn more.

Taking an equal percentage from all would be proportionate.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Taxes are historically low right now, especially for the top income brackets.

Yeah, but I'm not concerned with one single group's taxation.
Not the top 10%, not 'workers', not the poor, et cetera.
Here's government tax income over time (the green line) corrected for inflation:

Now, tell me, are taxes historically low?
Quote:
If 10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth, they are going to have to pay a proportionate share of the taxes. It's just common sense.

I agree completely. They should pay a proportionate share of the taxes.
Problem is, they don't. They pay a disproportionate share because the tax code takes a larger percentage from those who earn more.

Taking an equal percentage from all would be proportionate.

Yes, taxes are historically low, and your graph is a change of subject. Your graph shows the US gov't budget, which doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about, which is where the gov't gets the revenue, and the increasingly imbalanced distribution of wealth in the USA.

Look. There's one pie and ten people:

NINE people get the one yellow slice to share, and one person gets the rest in red. Now the gov't comes and needs its cut, let's say 25% or whatever (doesn't matter). It makes sense to take most of it from the one person who has the big red slice. In fact, it would make sense to take all of it from there. That person still has most of the pie, by far, even after the government cut. But to be "fair" and not make bad feelings for that sensitive person with the huge red portion of pie or really because that person has all the power due to having the most pie), we take a sliver from the yellow part too. Anything else just doesn't make sense. Taking half the yellow slice would cut into the small piece shared by nine people. Taking it all from the one person who has most of the pie leaves that person with most of the pie anyway.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Taking it all from the one person who has most of the pie leaves that person with most of the pie anyway.
The person who has that portion of the pie worked quite hard to get that portion of the pie. If you tell him that you are going to take X% of his portion, as Y% is still significant in the Government's view, he will tone down his production, so that he only has to produce the equivalent of the portion that the Government thinks he should have. Why work fullout for 100% when you have to indirectly work for the Government for X% of that portion. That big pie will all of a sudden become much much smaller. It is like killing the goose that has to lay the golden eggs. Remember also that these guys are the large employers in the country, so indirectly the Government is taxing those people that are being paid by this large employer as well. If the large employer scales down his activities to match the smaller percentage that the Government deems justified for him to own, there will be more people unemployed. And less cash for the Government.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Taking it all from the one person who has most of the pie leaves that person with most of the pie anyway.
The person who has that portion of the pie worked quite hard to get that portion of the pie.
Unproven assumption.
Did Paris Hilton work hard for her millions?
Is it true that a millionaire works a hundred times harder than a bin-man earning $10,000?
Quote:
If you tell him that you are going to take X% of his portion, as Y% is still significant in the Government's view, he will tone down his production, so that he only has to produce the equivalent of the portion that the Government thinks he should have.
Illogical.
Example?:
A earns $1,000,000 in a year.
Assume a punative top rate of tax of 80% and a threshold of $1,000,000. That means that for every $ above the million, A keeps 20c. Thus there is every reason for them to expand.
(And this assumes that the primary motivation for work is money, something which many very rich people would probably dispute, and many not so rich people would certainly dispute).
jmi256
[quote="handfleisch"]
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But I’m happy to give Obama credit for giving workers some of their own money back, no matter how much it is.


Good.

A long explanation of the payroll tax system and yet another rant about "the left wing" doesn't change the fact that Obama's promise to give this tax break to 90+% of working Americans has come true this year, which I said in the first place. Nor does it in any way prove your assertion that taxes are going up for working Americans. I am afraid that, once again, the factual basis of your argument has been shown to be untrue.


A long explanation seemed necessary when erroneous claims were made. The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash. And the claim that your ‘friend’ received a “large tax return this year, a four-figure increase over last year” and that this “large tax return” can somehow be contributed to Obama is also just hogwash. If your friend received a refund, it is due to Bush’s tax policy, not Obama’s. Manipulating the payroll tax withholding rate is not a “tax cut” as much as you would like it to be. In the end, the taxpayer still pays the same amount, but receives a smaller refund since less this withheld in anticipation of a return. Obama did not somehow magically cut taxes, no matter how many times you say it. I was willing to chalk up the false claim as ignorance on how the tax system works, but if the same claim that there was some magical tax cut made when it has been clearly explained that that is just not the case, the only logical conclusion is that it is a dishonest statement. It’s also interesting that you claim that “Bush's rebate might have made the great recession even worse”, but are all too quick to attribute it as a positive “tax cut” when Obama does that same thing. Are you saying Obama is setting up another recession?
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Taking it all from the one person who has most of the pie leaves that person with most of the pie anyway.
The person who has that portion of the pie worked quite hard to get that portion of the pie.
Unproven assumption.
Did Paris Hilton work hard for her millions?
Is it true that a millionaire works a hundred times harder than a bin-man earning $10,000?
Quote:
If you tell him that you are going to take X% of his portion, as Y% is still significant in the Government's view, he will tone down his production, so that he only has to produce the equivalent of the portion that the Government thinks he should have.
Illogical.
Example?:
A earns $1,000,000 in a year.
Assume a punative top rate of tax of 80% and a threshold of $1,000,000. That means that for every $ above the million, A keeps 20c. Thus there is every reason for them to expand.
(And this assumes that the primary motivation for work is money, something which many very rich people would probably dispute, and many not so rich people would certainly dispute).


However if, as you propose, there is a tax rate of 80% for people above the threshold of $1,000,000, someone making just $1,000,000 will take home $200,000. Now if the tax rate is, say, 33% for people below that threshold, then this person is taking home the same amount of money as someone making $300,000. So I propose that if you're going to tax the wealthy more (something in which I do not object to), then the thresholds need to be very close or the tax increase needs to be exponential (which is the same as the limit as the thresholds get closer) so that someone making $999,999.99 a year only gets taxed very slightly less than someone making $1,000,000 (instead of a huge amount less since they're right below the threshold... you shouldn't take home less than someone who actually makes less than you) and someone making $1,000,000 only gets taxed slightly less than someone making $1,005,000.

If it's not like this, then the objection you were responding to holds. If the tax rate is, say, 50% for people under $1,000,000 and 80% for people over, then if I'm right at $1,000,000, I might as well work less hard because even if I only made half of what I made, then I'm still ahead...

I agree with your point that wealth != hard work... How does some actor/pop singer/etc. work any harder than someone working in a subway tunnel for 12 hours a day or someone picking strawberries (which, according to Eric Schlosser's book (that I just read) Reefer Madness: Drugs, Sex, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market is one of the most physically demanding jobs around) for 10 hours?
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash.
This is delusion. To keep repeating it after I have already cited proof refuting it, proof of what is common knowledge anyway, is bizarre. The tax breaks people are getting this year, the tax breaks for 90% of Americans, are the result of the legislation and measures passed by Obama and Congress at the beginning of 2009. Fully 37% of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 went to tax breaks. To try to give Bush credit belongs in the Twilight Zone. It makes "left wing media" and "Obama is a socialist" type stuff seemed like everyday confusion, and makes it look like the right wing is going totally off the rails.

Your other claim, that taxes are going up on working Americans, has just as much credibility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009
Quote:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
-------
New tax credit

* House— About $145 billion for $500 per-worker, $1,000 per-couple tax credits in 2009 and 2010. For the last half of 2009, workers could expect to see about $20 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting around June. Millions of Americans who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes could file returns next year and receive checks. Individuals making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000 would receive reduced amounts.
* Senate — The credit would phase out at incomes of $70,000 for individuals and couples making more than $140,000 and phase out more quickly, reducing the cost to $140 billion.
* Conference- Tax Credit reduced to $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010 and phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash.
This is delusion. To keep repeating it after I have already cited proof refuting it, proof of what is common knowledge anyway, is bizarre.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way the system works. The 2009 budget was signed by Bush. Obama signed the 2010 and 2011 budgets.


Quote:

Barack H. Obama
Fiscal Year 2011
Fiscal Year 2010

George W. Bush
Fiscal Year 2009
Fiscal Year 2008
Fiscal Year 2007
Fiscal Year 2006
Fiscal Year 2005
Fiscal Year 2004
Fiscal Year 2003
Fiscal Year 2002

William J. Clinton
Fiscal Year 2001
Fiscal Year 2000
Fiscal Year 1999
Fiscal Year 1998
Fiscal Year 1997
Fiscal Year 1996

Source = http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/browse.html
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Taking it all from the one person who has most of the pie leaves that person with most of the pie anyway.
The person who has that portion of the pie worked quite hard to get that portion of the pie.
Unproven assumption.
Did Paris Hilton work hard for her millions?
Is it true that a millionaire works a hundred times harder than a bin-man earning $10,000?
Quote:
If you tell him that you are going to take X% of his portion, as Y% is still significant in the Government's view, he will tone down his production, so that he only has to produce the equivalent of the portion that the Government thinks he should have.
Illogical.
Example?:
A earns $1,000,000 in a year.
Assume a punative top rate of tax of 80% and a threshold of $1,000,000. That means that for every $ above the million, A keeps 20c. Thus there is every reason for them to expand.
(And this assumes that the primary motivation for work is money, something which many very rich people would probably dispute, and many not so rich people would certainly dispute).
Let's take out the hard work then (good point). Perhaps there could also be an idea here for slapping on a sizable inheritance tax, however I would imagine with the very savvy lawyers and tax experts that these wealthy people may have, that they would easily find loopholes where there may be the presumption of a higher tax to pay, but with specialist knowledge of exploiting loopholes, they would easily find ways to avoid/minimize taxes.

Regarding your second point. You are right again. Some rich people may dispute that they are only working for money, but I am almost certain that all of them would hate to donate one more cent to the IRS if they can help it. In fact tax advisors get rewarded for finding loopholes in the Tax regulations which means savings on the rich people's tax bills. Rich people would probably far rather do their donating themselves, than donate a large chunk of their earnings to the IRS.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Taxes are historically low right now, especially for the top income brackets.

Yeah, but I'm not concerned with one single group's taxation.
Not the top 10%, not 'workers', not the poor, et cetera.
Here's government tax income over time (the green line) corrected for inflation:

Now, tell me, are taxes historically low?
Quote:
If 10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth, they are going to have to pay a proportionate share of the taxes. It's just common sense.

I agree completely. They should pay a proportionate share of the taxes.
Problem is, they don't. They pay a disproportionate share because the tax code takes a larger percentage from those who earn more.

Taking an equal percentage from all would be proportionate.

Yes, taxes are historically low, and your graph is a change of subject. Your graph shows the US gov't budget, which doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about, which is where the gov't gets the revenue, and the increasingly imbalanced distribution of wealth in the USA.

Increasingly imbalance distribution of wealth, eh?
Why should it be the government's job to determine how wealth will be distributed?

As for my graph, it is relevant in that it shows government income- aka taxes.
Quote:

Look. There's one pie and ten people:

NINE people get the one yellow slice to share, and one person gets the rest in red. Now the gov't comes and needs its cut, let's say 25% or whatever (doesn't matter). It makes sense to take most of it from the one person who has the big red slice. In fact, it would make sense to take all of it from there. That person still has most of the pie, by far, even after the government cut. But to be "fair" and not make bad feelings for that sensitive person with the huge red portion of pie or really because that person has all the power due to having the most pie), we take a sliver from the yellow part too. Anything else just doesn't make sense. Taking half the yellow slice would cut into the small piece shared by nine people. Taking it all from the one person who has most of the pie leaves that person with most of the pie anyway.

The only fair choice is to take 25% of both slices.
Now, some people have such a small slice that they can't afford to give any up, and for these people (i.e., ONLY people below poverty level), we may have to accept the lesser evil of being unfair in order to prevent the greater evil of taking away what they need to survive.

Ideally, the tax rate would be 0% for poverty level and below, and gradually work up to the maximum-- reaching the max percentage at {poverty level} + [{poverty level} x {tax rate}]. (Having a gradual increase only to prevent those who make poverty level + $1 from taking home less than poverty level.)
A 'worker' making $60,000 a year does not NEED a tax break to survive, so there's no moral justification to charging him less tax than a lawyer making $600,000 /yr or a pop star making $6 million a year.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Now, some people have such a small slice that they can't afford to give any up, and for these people (i.e., ONLY people below poverty level), we may have to accept the lesser evil of being unfair in order to prevent the greater evil of taking away what they need to survive.

Ideally, the tax rate would be 0% for poverty level and below, and gradually work up to the maximum-- reaching the max percentage at {poverty level} + [{poverty level} x {tax rate}]. (Having a gradual increase only to prevent those who make poverty level + $1 from taking home less than poverty level.)
A 'worker' making $60,000 a year does not NEED a tax break to survive, so there's no moral justification to charging him less tax than a lawyer making $600,000 /yr or a pop star making $6 million a year.
This sounds a bit too simplistic as there is an enormous huge leap from poverty to well to do. I also don't agree that someone who earns $60,000 should be paying the same tax as someone who makes $600,000. I like the Canadian tax system that works on a progressive scale of tax brackets, refer Wikipedia to get an idea of their tax brackets. It makes allowances for those in poverty, those just getting by, then your more than average joe, your on the way to prosperous Joe, and your wealthy joe. Everyone gets taxed progressively the same up to 130000 (that gets adjusted every year depending on inflation). After that the amount in excess of 130000 Cdn$ is the same for everyone.

Corporations are taxed separately according to their type.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Ideally, the tax rate would be 0% for poverty level and below, and gradually work up to the maximum-- reaching the max percentage at {poverty level} + [{poverty level} x {tax rate}]. (Having a gradual increase only to prevent those who make poverty level + $1 from taking home less than poverty level.)
A 'worker' making $60,000 a year does not NEED a tax break to survive, so there's no moral justification to charging him less tax than a lawyer making $600,000 /yr or a pop star making $6 million a year.

What you describe is what, generally, we have, and what we would call 'progressive' taxation (ie it has a redistributive function). The problem is, as I see it, the neo-liberal governments from Thatcher/Regan onwards bought into the idea that progressive taxation doesn't work because it discourages enterprise. I don't buy it, and never have bought it. I think it is a self-serving ad-hoc justification for allowing the rich to get richer AT THE EXPENSE of the poor.
So what we have seen is more and more indirect (regressive) taxation where everyone pays the same - VAT, airport taxes, fuel taxes etc etc. This, self evidently, has a disproportionate effect on the poorer.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash.
This is delusion. To keep repeating it after I have already cited proof refuting it, proof of what is common knowledge anyway, is bizarre.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way the system works. The 2009 budget was signed by Bush. Obama signed the 2010 and 2011 budgets.
Speaking of investment, it's bizarre how invested you are in this falsehood that the Stimulus package didn't take effect in 2009, and that people aren't receiving tax breaks thanks to the package and Obama. I would think admitting it, or just admission by omission, would be easier. Here's the staid, conservative Economist magazine acknowledging it:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/02/republicans_voted_against_democratic_tax_cuts
Quote:
The biggest is the "Making Work Pay Tax Credit", which for 2009 and 2010 only provides "a refundable tax credit of 6.2% of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns." That comes to $116 billion. In all, tax cuts made up about a third of the stimulus bill
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash.
This is delusion. To keep repeating it after I have already cited proof refuting it, proof of what is common knowledge anyway, is bizarre.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way the system works. The 2009 budget was signed by Bush. Obama signed the 2010 and 2011 budgets.
Speaking of investment, it's bizarre how invested you are in this falsehood that the Stimulus package didn't take effect in 2009, and that people aren't receiving tax breaks thanks to the package and Obama. I would think admitting it, or just admission by omission, would be easier. Here's the staid, conservative Economist magazine acknowledging it:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/02/republicans_voted_against_democratic_tax_cuts
Quote:
The biggest is the "Making Work Pay Tax Credit", which for 2009 and 2010 only provides "a refundable tax credit of 6.2% of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns." That comes to $116 billion. In all, tax cuts made up about a third of the stimulus bill


I’m not “invested” in anything other than clearing up the false statement you continue to make concerning how the tax system works. In your initial post you claimed - and in subsequent posts you continued to claim - that the 2009 fiscal budget was a product of Obama’s administration, but as I have clearly shown it was not, but by Bush. That’s just simple fact. You also claimed that your “friend” received a “large tax return this year, a four-figure increase over last year,” and you were quite eager to give Obama ‘credit’ for it. But again, it is a simple fact that the 2009 fiscal budget was passed under Bush, and the tax brackets were set during that time. Obama You also wanted to condemn Bush for his tax credit and said “In hindsight, Bush's rebate might have made the great recession even worse.” But when Obama effectively did the same thing by extending a Bush policy, I didn’t see any condemnation that he was leading us into recession. In fact, you want to praise Obama for the very action you attempted to vilify Bush for. I don’t think I need to comment on the hypocrisy inherent in that position. As I have said before I can ‘forgive’ someone making inaccurate statements when they are simply ignorant of how the system works, but when the same statement is made again and again when details have been provided, the only logical conclusion that can be made is that the argument and the position is dishonest.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash.
This is delusion. To keep repeating it after I have already cited proof refuting it, proof of what is common knowledge anyway, is bizarre.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way the system works. The 2009 budget was signed by Bush. Obama signed the 2010 and 2011 budgets.
Speaking of investment, it's bizarre how invested you are in this falsehood that the Stimulus package didn't take effect in 2009, and that people aren't receiving tax breaks thanks to the package and Obama. I would think admitting it, or just admission by omission, would be easier. Here's the staid, conservative Economist magazine acknowledging it:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/02/republicans_voted_against_democratic_tax_cuts
Quote:
The biggest is the "Making Work Pay Tax Credit", which for 2009 and 2010 only provides "a refundable tax credit of 6.2% of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns." That comes to $116 billion. In all, tax cuts made up about a third of the stimulus bill


I’m not “invested” in anything other than clearing up the false statement you continue to make concerning how the tax system works. In your initial post you claimed - and in subsequent posts you continued to claim - that the 2009 fiscal budget was a product of Obama’s administration, but as I have clearly shown it was not, but by Bush. That’s just simple fact.


This is getting fascinating. Did you even glance at the sources I have shown? So you're saying you're right and the Economist magazine and all the other sources are wrong? They plainly, simply state people are now receiving tax return money due to the legislation passed by Obama and Congress at the beginning of 2009. How can you keep insisting otherwise?
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The claim that the 2009 fiscal year’s budget was Obama’s, not Bush’s is just hogwash.
This is delusion. To keep repeating it after I have already cited proof refuting it, proof of what is common knowledge anyway, is bizarre.

I'm sorry, but that's just the way the system works. The 2009 budget was signed by Bush. Obama signed the 2010 and 2011 budgets.
Speaking of investment, it's bizarre how invested you are in this falsehood that the Stimulus package didn't take effect in 2009, and that people aren't receiving tax breaks thanks to the package and Obama. I would think admitting it, or just admission by omission, would be easier. Here's the staid, conservative Economist magazine acknowledging it:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/02/republicans_voted_against_democratic_tax_cuts
Quote:
The biggest is the "Making Work Pay Tax Credit", which for 2009 and 2010 only provides "a refundable tax credit of 6.2% of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns." That comes to $116 billion. In all, tax cuts made up about a third of the stimulus bill


I’m not “invested” in anything other than clearing up the false statement you continue to make concerning how the tax system works. In your initial post you claimed - and in subsequent posts you continued to claim - that the 2009 fiscal budget was a product of Obama’s administration, but as I have clearly shown it was not, but by Bush. That’s just simple fact.


This is getting fascinating. Did you even glance at the sources I have shown? So you're saying you're right and the Economist magazine and all the other sources are wrong? They plainly, simply state people are now receiving tax return money due to the legislation passed by Obama and Congress at the beginning of 2009. How can you keep insisting otherwise?


Of course I read them. You're free to try changing the subject now that your original claim has clearly been debunked, but the simple truth remains that the 2009 fiscal budget was passed under Bush. The attempt to give Obama 'credit' while vilifying Bush when in reality it was under Bush who the 2009 fiscal budget and tax code was passed is hypocritical and dishonest at best.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Of course I read them. You're free to try changing the subject now that your original claim has clearly been debunked, but the simple truth remains that the 2009 fiscal budget was passed under Bush. The attempt to give Obama 'credit' while vilifying Bush when in reality it was under Bush who the 2009 fiscal budget and tax code was passed is hypocritical and dishonest at best.
This is an excellent point jmi. I should have clicked on this a long time ago and did not. There were some important economic decisions made during the last few months of Obama's presidency too including bailing out the Banks. For which Obama took full credit. Bush had done all the groundwork for it. He did not like it though, but though he had had no choice for the sake of the economy. I remember he commented on it during one of his last interviews as outgoing President.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
This is getting fascinating. Did you even glance at the sources I have shown? So you're saying you're right and the Economist magazine and all the other sources are wrong? They plainly, simply state people are now receiving tax return money due to the legislation passed by Obama and Congress at the beginning of 2009. How can you keep insisting otherwise?


Of course I read them. You're free to try changing the subject now that your original claim has clearly been debunked, but the simple truth remains that the 2009 fiscal budget was passed under Bush. The attempt to give Obama 'credit' while vilifying Bush when in reality it was under Bush who the 2009 fiscal budget and tax code was passed is hypocritical and dishonest at best.


Again, your ability to claim the reverse of reality to suit yourself is kind of awesome. You have followed your usual pattern -- to make wild, false claims, bring up side claims along the way, and then pretend you never made the wild, false claims while calling others dishonest hypocrites. This might work fine in a conversation (if feeling like a winner despite the facts is the goal), but on a website where everyone can see what has been written, it doesn't work so well.

Scrolling up, anyone can see my original claim has not been debunked at all, since the subject line of the thread is my original claim, and I have cited tons of proof of what is common knowledge, that working Americans are receiving Obama-sponsored tax refunds now. The thread went like this.

1. I say working Americans are getting Obama-sponsored tax refunds now.
2. You claim the refunds come from the Bush budget, and claim taxes are in fact going up for working Americans.
3. I cite lots of proof that the Obama Stimulus act passed by Congress in early 2009 went into effect during 2009 and is delivering tax moneys back to working Americans now.
4. You bring up lots of other things, ignore the proof I have cited, keep claiming that Americans cannot be getting tax refunds from the Stimulus, and quietly drop your claim that taxes for working Americans are going up.
5. I keep on the main point, and ask how can you ignore proof and keep claiming the opposite of reality.
6. You say I am changing the subject, say my claims were "debunked", and call me dishonest and hypocritical.

It's interesting to watch the workings of such utter denial as it takes place. I see in it a lot of the political mindset that led the US to so many disasters during the Bush administration, which operated via the same desperate reversal of reality. Fascinating, if tragic.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Ideally, the tax rate would be 0% for poverty level and below, and gradually work up to the maximum-- reaching the max percentage at {poverty level} + [{poverty level} x {tax rate}]. (Having a gradual increase only to prevent those who make poverty level + $1 from taking home less than poverty level.)
A 'worker' making $60,000 a year does not NEED a tax break to survive, so there's no moral justification to charging him less tax than a lawyer making $600,000 /yr or a pop star making $6 million a year.

What you describe is what, generally, we have, and what we would call 'progressive' taxation (ie it has a redistributive function). The problem is, as I see it, the neo-liberal governments from Thatcher/Regan onwards bought into the idea that progressive taxation doesn't work because it discourages enterprise. I don't buy it, and never have bought it. I think it is a self-serving ad-hoc justification for allowing the rich to get richer AT THE EXPENSE of the poor.

How then, do you justify the unfairness of taking proportionately more from some than you take from others?
(serious question, not rhetorical.)
Quote:

So what we have seen is more and more indirect (regressive) taxation where everyone pays the same - VAT, airport taxes, fuel taxes etc etc. This, self evidently, has a disproportionate effect on the poorer.

Indeed unfortunate. If you're familiar with the fairtax, that's what I want to see enacted; among other things, it fixes that problem nicely.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
How then, do you justify the unfairness of taking proportionately more from some than you take from others?
(serious question, not rhetorical.)


Very wealthy people control a huge proportion of wealth and so they should be taxed higher. They don't need all of that money nearly as much as a single mother of four making $30,000 a year. What it comes down is that many people feel that people who are wealthy "earned" that money and that they "deserve" it. But does anyone really "deserve" wealth? Yes some people work harder than others and so they do probably deserve more. But the fact of the matter is that it's mostly sheer dumb luck. Some people are born better looking than others and so they are given opportunities in acting/modeling. Some people are born with better mental abilities than others. Some people are born with more athleticism and so they're able to make huge sums of money playing sports. Some people are born in first world nations and so they automatically get opportunities that many other people do not get... It's sheer luck. Does some guy who was lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family with many business connections "deserve" more wealth than someone who immigrated to a first world nation from a third world nation and so all they can really do is dig subway trenches for 12 hours a day or farm? Who works harder? Who got luckier?
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
How then, do you justify the unfairness of taking proportionately more from some than you take from others?
(serious question, not rhetorical.)


Very wealthy people control a huge proportion of wealth and so they should be taxed higher. They don't need all of that money nearly as much as a single mother of four making $30,000 a year. What it comes down is that many people feel that people who are wealthy "earned" that money and that they "deserve" it. But does anyone really "deserve" wealth?
Playing devil's advocate here, could one then argue that Canada has a very small population for its huge expanse of land. So has Australia. So maybe one can move a few million from population-dense areas in the world to Canada or Australia so that there could be a greater balance? The argument being, do Canada and Australia really need all of that land? And have they really earned it? Ownership/occupancy is no longer a right, but something that is determined according to whether they really earned and deserved it? Taking a macro view. One should first has start with the Government, that is obviously overspending and very much into ownership itself. Has the Government earned all the money it is taking from the tax payer, does the Government deserve that money? Do people deserve to be taxed to the extent they are?
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Again, your ability to claim the reverse of reality to suit yourself is kind of awesome. You have followed your usual pattern -- to make wild, false claims, bring up side claims along the way, and then pretend you never made the wild, false claims while calling others dishonest hypocrites. This might work fine in a conversation (if feeling like a winner despite the facts is the goal), but on a website where everyone can see what has been written, it doesn't work so well.

No, you misquote me and when I correct you, you claim I “then pretend you never made the wild, false claims”. If you are honest about what I have said, you would admit that you have tried to give Obama credit for something he could not have possibly done. And at the same time, when he did mess with the payroll tax rate, which I went to lengths to explain how it works to you, to provide a credit toward anticipated taxes, you wanted to give him props for it while claiming that when Bush did it he “might have made the great recession even worse.” That is what I am saying is dishonest and hypocritical. You never bothered to explain this claim, but I am interested in hearing what theory you are able to muster for this one. The simple fact is that the 2009 tax code was passed under Bush, and in that tax code, tax brackets were set. The tax refunds people are getting this tax season for the 2009 fiscal year are based on Bush’s tax code. The most disturbing aspect of this entire exchange, however, is the deep misunderstanding (if it’s unintentional) of the basic aspects of how our tax system works. What is scary is that those who do not understand this basic cornerstone of the federal system are the most vocal in expanding the power of the federal government.



handfleisch wrote:
Scrolling up, anyone can see my original claim has not been debunked at all, since the subject line of the thread is my original claim, and I have cited tons of proof of what is common knowledge, that working Americans are receiving Obama-sponsored tax refunds now. The thread went like this.

Really? You didn’t make the claim that Obama instituted tax cuts? I would beg to differ:
handfleisch wrote:
I reminded him of the reason -- Obama's tax cuts

I’m fine with letting you correct yourself, but I doubt you will and will instead somehow try to argue a point that just is untrue. Again, as I have shown, the 2009 tax code was passed under Bush. I just don’t know how to make it any clearer for you.



handfleisch wrote:
1. I say working Americans are getting Obama-sponsored tax refunds now.

LOL! No, see above. You said he cut 2009 taxes, which understandably everyone scoffed at. So now tax refunds are “Obama-sponsored”? Exactly what does that mean, btw?



handfleisch wrote:
2. You claim the refunds come from the Bush budget, and claim taxes are in fact going up for working Americans.

That’s right, the 2009 tax code was passed under Bush, so any refund (or liability for the matter), is a direct result of the tax brackets passed under Bush. Sorry, but no matter how much you try you simply can’t change history. And when I say taxes are going to go up in future tax code, I think it is obvious that they have to. How else do you think taxpayers are going to pay for all of Obama’s pet projects? The only way to keep taxes the same is to drastically cut the size of government, but that is something Obama and the other liberals/left wingers/progressives/whatever they now want to call themselves can’t bring themselves to do.


handfleisch wrote:
3. I cite lots of proof that the Obama Stimulus act passed by Congress in early 2009 went into effect during 2009 and is delivering tax moneys back to working Americans now.

Again, I went through the effort of explaining to you how manipulating the payroll tax rate does not lead to an increase in refunds. In fact, it decreases tax refunds. I said I was happy to give Obama credit for letting people keep a hold of their own money throughout the year, but since the tax rates are already set, they eventually have to pay that money. To claim otherwise is dishonest.


handfleisch wrote:
4. You bring up lots of other things, ignore the proof I have cited, keep claiming that Americans cannot be getting tax refunds from the Stimulus, and quietly drop your claim that taxes for working Americans are going up.

Actually I have been very focused in my responses. You simple keep trying to change the subject without admitting your claim is bogus, and then try to assert that I “bring up lots of other things.” I didn’t “drop” my claim that taxes will go up, and happy to debate this point as well.



handfleisch wrote:
5. I keep on the main point, and ask how can you ignore proof and keep claiming the opposite of reality.

That’s your “main point”? I thought it was that Obama cut 2009 taxes, leading to your friend’s “large tax return this year, a four-figure increase over last year”, which I have shown to be either a dishonest or uninformed claim. Your choice.



handfleisch wrote:
6. You say I am changing the subject, say my claims were "debunked", and call me dishonest and hypocritical.

Ok, then let’s stay on the subject. Exactly when did the 2009 tax code pass under Obama? Was it after February 2009 when he took office, meaning that somehow 2009 taxes were being paid for at least two months according to a tax code that was yet to be passed? Do you now see why your deep misunderstanding of how the tax system works is so disturbing? You don’t have to be well versed in the tax system to simply apply a little commonsense before making the claims you do.


handfleisch wrote:
It's interesting to watch the workings of such utter denial as it takes place. I see in it a lot of the political mindset that led the US to so many disasters during the Bush administration, which operated via the same desperate reversal of reality. Fascinating, if tragic.

So now your outrageous, misinformed claims ‘are Bush’s fault”? The left wing loves to use that refrain to the point that it is a joke.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
How then, do you justify the unfairness of taking proportionately more from some than you take from others?
(serious question, not rhetorical.)


Very wealthy people control a huge proportion of wealth and so they should be taxed higher. They don't need all of that money nearly as much as a single mother of four making $30,000 a year.

Of course a single mother making $30,000 needs it more.
But why does a businessman making $100,000 need his money more than one making $1,000,000?
What's the justification for taxing those two differently?
Quote:
What it comes down is that many people feel that people who are wealthy "earned" that money and that they "deserve" it. But does anyone really "deserve" wealth? Yes some people work harder than others and so they do probably deserve more. But the fact of the matter is that it's mostly sheer dumb luck.

And it's the government's job to decide who deserves what, and to correct for the effects of luck?
I think not.
Quote:
Some people are born better looking than others and so they are given opportunities in acting/modeling. Some people are born with better mental abilities than others. Some people are born with more athleticism and so they're able to make huge sums of money playing sports. Some people are born in first world nations and so they automatically get opportunities that many other people do not get... It's sheer luck. Does some guy who was lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family with many business connections "deserve" more wealth than someone who immigrated to a first world nation from a third world nation and so all they can really do is dig subway trenches for 12 hours a day or farm? Who works harder? Who got luckier?

Again, why should the government correct for luck?
Some people will be luckier than others, but does that really justify taking money from the lucky/hardworking and giving it to the unlucky/lazy?
Of course we can look after those who don't make enough to live on, but there's no justifiable reason to give money to the well-off at the expense of the super-rich.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Playing devil's advocate here, could one then argue that Canada has a very small population for its huge expanse of land.


There are an infinite amount of arguments that you can make here. You can argue that since Canada has so much land with a small population that it is their responsibility to house people from overpopulated areas. But is that practical? How do you move all those people? You can also argue that since Canada has all that land with a low population, that, it is their responsibility to protect the environment (much more practical) through forest reserves. That way they can be the lungs of the earth...

Quote:
Again, why should the government correct for luck?

Yes.
Quote:
Some people will be luckier than others, but does that really justify taking money from the lucky/hardworking and giving it to the unlucky/lazy?


Hard work != wealth. Which should the government take a high percentage of money from: someone picking strawberries for 12 hours a day or someone working in an office from 9-5 because they had rich parents who sent him/her to Harvard?

I believe in equality. Of course, I don't like people who are just lazy. I don't believe in handouts (full scholarships even annoy me... I like partial scholarships but a student should have to work some and take some sort of financial hand in their education). But I don't really see why anyone "deserves" wealth. Why does a billionaire "deserve" all of that money. Logically, someone cannot really earn that much money without a society to help. So obviously, someone who has made millions and billions has been given more help from society than someone who is poor and picks strawberries for ten-twelve hours a day. So if society has given someone more, they should give back more
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Playing devil's advocate here, could one then argue that Canada has a very small population for its huge expanse of land.

There are an infinite amount of arguments that you can make here. You can argue that since Canada has so much land with a small population that it is their responsibility to house people from overpopulated areas. But is that practical? How do you move all those people? You can also argue that since Canada has all that land with a low population, that, it is their responsibility to protect the environment (much more practical) through forest reserves. That way they can be the lungs of the earth...
So do you think then that it is practically feasible to get the wealthy to look after the poor through taxation? Over and above standard taxation? Given that quite a number of the wealthy have become wealthy because they are taxation averse and are using every possible expert they can to exploit loopholes in their favour, I don't believe it would be practical to go heavy handed on them with taxes. The wealthy such as Bill and Melinda Gates with their Foundation, obviously get greater satisfaction and are probably even more responsible than Government officials to put their money to good use for those who are not that well off. Probably much better to identify programmes that the wealthy could administer and give the wealthy tax rebates on the money that they put towards those programmes.
handfleisch
Recent news about the bigger tax returns 95% of Americans are getting this year thanks to Obama and Congress passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act early in 2009:
http://taxdollars.freedomblogging.com/2010/03/23/middle-class-families-get-bigger-tax-refunds-this-year/53851/
Quote:

Middle class families get bigger tax refunds this year

Average tax refunds are up nearly 10 percent this year, thanks in large part to that stimulus bill folks love to hate, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal officials said.

The average tax refund has reached $3,036 this year, up $266 from last year, said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman in a prepared statement.”The Recovery Act is a major factor behind these larger, record refunds. About half of all Americans haven’t filed their taxes yet, so we urge them to look carefully at these Recovery provisions.”


more here
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/03/vp-biden-average-american-tax-refund-up-ten-percent-thanks-to-recovery-act-benefits.html
Quote:

IRS Commission Douglas Shulman said that the average tax refund this year is $3,036, up $266 from a year ago. Shulman credited the Recovery Act as a “major factor” behind the increase.

“For many taxpayers, this will be the biggest check that they see all year,” Shulman said.
deanhills
@handfleisch. OK, if this is fact, won't the Government be short of cash, i.e. if tax payers are paying less tax this year, then obviously the budget will have to be reduced by this amount? In January of last year alone there was a 1.2-trillion dollar expenditure approved. Or is the Government also using rule 105, to reduce the accounting of debt such as the auditors had done with Lehman Brothers before it came crashing down? Lehman style, the 1.2-trillion dollars will be separated from the main budget? And so will some of the areas of the main budget, so that on the face of things income will equal expenditure in the accounts? I guess all those promises about transparency in accounting has been long forgotten. It sounds pretty good in election speeches, but isn't practically feasible when you are dealing with the masses. Let them think they are in for a grand bonanza and that everyone is prospering when Obama is President.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
@handfleisch. OK, if this is fact, won't the Government be short of cash, i.e. if tax payers are paying less tax this year, then obviously the budget will have to be reduced by this amount? In January of last year alone there was a 1.2-trillion dollar expenditure approved. Or is the Government also using rule 105, to reduce the accounting of debt such as the auditors had done with Lehman Brothers before it came crashing down? Lehman style, the 1.2-trillion dollars will be separated from the main budget? And so will some of the areas of the main budget, so that on the face of things income will equal expenditure in the accounts? I guess all those promises about transparency in accounting has been long forgotten. It sounds pretty good in election speeches, but isn't practically feasible when you are dealing with the masses. Let them think they are in for a grand bonanza and that everyone is prospering when Obama is President.


No, revenue increased because Obama undid the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and gave the tax break to the working class instead. It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.

Ingenious, but unfair and immoral.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.
How true is the 95% stat though? Only 43% of the total population pay income tax. So how does Obama get to 95%?

Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
How true is the 95% stat though? Only 43% of the total population pay income tax. So how does Obama get to 95%?


I'm pretty sure that he's referring to 95% of taxpaying citizens... That would be the only thing that would make sense. If he's referring to taxes, why even discuss non-tax payers (unless he's discussing ways to make more people pay taxes)? So he might as well say 95% of taxpayers because it sounds much better than 40.85% of the population, which is the true statistic (if it's true that 43% of the population pays taxes and that 95% of them are going to pay less).[/quote]
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
deanhills wrote:
How true is the 95% stat though? Only 43% of the total population pay income tax. So how does Obama get to 95%?


I'm pretty sure that he's referring to 95% of taxpaying citizens... That would be the only thing that would make sense. If he's referring to taxes, why even discuss non-tax payers (unless he's discussing ways to make more people pay taxes)? So he might as well say 95% of taxpayers because it sounds much better than 40.85% of the population, which is the true statistic (if it's true that 43% of the population pays taxes and that 95% of them are going to pay less).
I was referring to Handfleisch's repeated references to 95% Americans, and how "ingenious" it is that they will all be receiving tax cuts:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.
You are right, it does sound pretty impressive to say 95% rather than 40,85%. Also the 95% are not receiving tax cuts, but tax credits.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
deanhills wrote:
How true is the 95% stat though? Only 43% of the total population pay income tax. So how does Obama get to 95%?


I'm pretty sure that he's referring to 95% of taxpaying citizens... That would be the only thing that would make sense. If he's referring to taxes, why even discuss non-tax payers (unless he's discussing ways to make more people pay taxes)? So he might as well say 95% of taxpayers because it sounds much better than 40.85% of the population, which is the true statistic (if it's true that 43% of the population pays taxes and that 95% of them are going to pay less).
I was referring to Handfleisch's repeated references to 95% Americans, and how "ingenious" it is that they will all be receiving tax cuts:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.
You are right, it does sound pretty impressive to say 95% rather than 40,85%. Also the 95% are not receiving tax cuts, but tax credits.


Oh yeah, little babies are not getting tax breaks. Obama lies!
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
deanhills wrote:
How true is the 95% stat though? Only 43% of the total population pay income tax. So how does Obama get to 95%?


I'm pretty sure that he's referring to 95% of taxpaying citizens... That would be the only thing that would make sense. If he's referring to taxes, why even discuss non-tax payers (unless he's discussing ways to make more people pay taxes)? So he might as well say 95% of taxpayers because it sounds much better than 40.85% of the population, which is the true statistic (if it's true that 43% of the population pays taxes and that 95% of them are going to pay less).
I was referring to Handfleisch's repeated references to 95% Americans, and how "ingenious" it is that they will all be receiving tax cuts:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.
You are right, it does sound pretty impressive to say 95% rather than 40,85%. Also the 95% are not receiving tax cuts, but tax credits.


Oh yeah, little babies are not getting tax breaks. Obama lies!
No Handfleisch. I was referring to your statement, not Obama's. Obama seems to be consistent in referring to 95% of workers and their families. His statement is more or less correct. You referred to 95% of Americans, which is 45% overestimated.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Oh yeah, little babies are not getting tax breaks. Obama lies!
No Handfleisch. I was referring to your statement, not Obama's. Obama seems to be consistent in referring to 95% of workers and their families. His statement is more or less correct. You referred to 95% of Americans, which is 45% overestimated.

You must have lot of time on your hands.

Latest news on the Obama tax breaks of 2009, benefiting Americans NOW:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/22/news/economy/recovery_act_tax_benefits/
Quote:
Tax refunds up 10% due to stimulus
By Ben Rooney, staff reporterMarch 22, 2010: 2:39 PM ET


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- White House officials said Monday that tax credits launched under last year's economic recovery bill have boosted the average refund by nearly 10% from the previous year.

The average tax refund for 2009 has reached $3,036, up $266 from a year ago, according to early data from the Internal Revenue Service.

dministration officials said the increase is largely due to tax benefits available under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The extra cash is a boon for the middle class and provides an important stimulus for the economy, officials said.

"The Recovery Act is a major factor behind these larger, record refunds," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "About half of all Americans haven't filed their taxes yet, so we urge them to look carefully at these Recovery provisions."

Under the Recovery Act, which was implemented last year to combat the economic crisis, taxpayers can take advantage of over a dozen tax benefits.

Among the benefits are the making work pay credit, worth up to $800 for married couples filing jointly, the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, and sales tax deductions on new car purchases.

In addition, the act includes credits for homeowners that make their homes more energy efficient. It also expanded eligibility for a $2,500 tax credit on college expenses and made the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits tax free.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Oh yeah, little babies are not getting tax breaks. Obama lies!
No Handfleisch. I was referring to your statement, not Obama's. Obama seems to be consistent in referring to 95% of workers and their families. His statement is more or less correct. You referred to 95% of Americans, which is 45% overestimated.

You must have lot of time on your hands.
Seems as though you are sidestepping a very valid point I made? Then trying to hide behind Obama to get out of it, instead of admitting your mistake?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Oh yeah, little babies are not getting tax breaks. Obama lies!
No Handfleisch. I was referring to your statement, not Obama's. Obama seems to be consistent in referring to 95% of workers and their families. His statement is more or less correct. You referred to 95% of Americans, which is 45% overestimated.

You must have lot of time on your hands.
Seems as though you are sidestepping a very valid point I made? Then trying to hide behind Obama to get out of it, instead of admitting your mistake?

Really, DH... words fail. The title of the thread says working families. Every other time I said 95% of working Americans. So I leave it out once in the middle of the thread and it's a big gotcha? Like what -- that I am trying to hide the fact that children didn't get a tax cut because they don't pay taxes? That's your idea of a mistake worth harping on? Thanks for your important contribution.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Really, DH... words fail. The title of the thread says working families. Every other time I said 95% of working Americans. So I leave it out once in the middle of the thread and it's a big gotcha? Like what -- that I am trying to hide the fact that children didn't get a tax cut because they don't pay taxes? That's your idea of a mistake worth harping on? Thanks for your important contribution.
Well at least for once you responded to the enquiry I made. During my previous points you continued to make sarcastic remarks that had nothing to do with the subject of the discussion. Most people would have responded with something to the equivalent of "Oops, yes, I meant to say of working Americans".

This is the statement you made:
Quote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.
If one wants to get technical, not all working Americans pay taxes, and not all working Americans qualify for tax credits. So it may be lower than 40% of Americans or 95% of working Americans. For example:
Quote:
For tax year 2005, 134,372,678 individual tax returns were filed. Of those filed, 99,880,223 actually had a tax liability and actually paid taxes.
So 35 million of the 134 million workers did not pay any taxes. That is approx 26%. Not all of the 99 million remaining working Americans during 2005 who paid taxes, would have qualified for tax credits. Matrix is probably better with stats than I am, but as I see it, only a percentage of 95% is eligible for tax credits.

For example there is a ceiling of income for earning EITC and specific conditions:
Quote:
To qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. In addition, you must either meet the additional rules for Workers without a Qualifying Child or have a child that meets all the Qualifying Child Rules for you.

Rules for Workers without a Qualifying Child:
You (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have lived in the United States for more than half the tax year,
Either you or your spouse, if filing a joint return, must be at least age 25 but under age 65,
You (or you spouse, if filing a joint return) cannot qualify as a dependent of another person. If you are not sure if you or your spouse qualify as a dependent, read the rules in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information (PDF).

Qualifying Child Rules.
Your child must pass the relationship, age, residency and joint return tests to be your qualifying child. All the tests must be met for each child you claim. Find the rules for a qualifying child for EITC here.

Special EITC Rules.
There are special EITC rules for members of the military, ministers, members of the clergy, those receiving disability benefits and those impacted by disasters. Read more about the special EITC rules here.

EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates
See the EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates for the current year, previous years and the upcoming year.


Source: IRS.gov
Ditto other Tax Credits that have rules applying to them as well. Refer IRS.gov Tax Credits in general.

Bottomline, the reference to 95% workers is inflated. It does look good though in political speeches, doesn't it?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Bottomline, the reference to 95% workers is inflated. It does look good though in political speeches, doesn't it?


The independent, nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institute calculated it as 94.3% of workers benefiting from Obama's tax break measures.
[/img]
deanhills
@Handfleisch. Then we probably need to differentiate between 95% of workers or 95% of tax payers? 26% of working people may not pay taxes (viz 2005). 94% of the workers who pay taxes may receive tax credits.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.

Ingenious, but unfair and immoral.
There are a lot of strange definitions of morality out there.




In fact, strange definitions of a lot of things:
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.

Ingenious, but unfair and immoral.
There are a lot of strange definitions of morality out there.

And which of those strange definitions says it's okay to take disproportionately more from any specific group?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.

Ingenious, but unfair and immoral.
There are a lot of strange definitions of morality out there.

And which of those strange definitions says it's okay to take disproportionately more from any specific group?

That would be progressive taxation, which doesn't take from any "specific group" but from any according to income. It is practiced by most countries in the world, historically supported by most economists and political scientists and only considered "strange" by a tiny minority, such as those under the thrall of certain fantasy-based political ideologies, with whom debate is useless.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.

Ingenious, but unfair and immoral.
There are a lot of strange definitions of morality out there.

And which of those strange definitions says it's okay to take disproportionately more from any specific group?


Look, you can't get rich without society. You simply cannot. You get rich by reaping benefits of a society and usually by raping some group of people (usually the poor). So it makes perfect sense to take more from people who have benefited more from society. Furthemore, sense wealth =/= hard work, wealthy people often have not worked any harder for their wealth than many other people. So I really don't understand the concept of any "deserving" wealth. So take money from the poor or take money from the rich?

The fact of the matter is that you simply cannot get rich without the help from a society and it's economy and usually without raping some group of people... So wealthy people have received far more from society and so they should give far more back.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
The fact of the matter is that you simply cannot get rich without the help from a society and it's economy and usually without raping some group of people... So wealthy people have received far more from society and so they should give far more back.
Conversely, we would never have come as far as we have with computers and computing if it had not been for the wealthy. The more we give them, the better it is going to get. The harder we make it for them to become wealthy, the less progress there is going to be. We owe more to them, than the other way around.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
The fact of the matter is that you simply cannot get rich without the help from a society and it's economy and usually without raping some group of people... So wealthy people have received far more from society and so they should give far more back.
Conversely, we would never have come as far as we have with computers and computing if it had not been for the wealthy. The more we give them, the better it is going to get. The harder we make it for them to become wealthy, the less progress there is going to be. We owe more to them, than the other way around.


Ummmm... Are you sure about that? Ten seconds of research will show that you are wrong.

http://www.indeed.com/salary/Scientist.html

Most major breakthrough developments come from scientists usually working for universities. Checking that chart (I, of course, do not know if it's exactly right but it does seem pretty close) you can see that scientists are not paid huge salaries (although they do make really good livings).

Besides, most scientists have some sort of philanthropy in them and do not do it just for the money... The main reason is that there are far more lucrative careers to go into if you just care about money... Most of them love science and either do their research because of an interest in the subject or because they want to help mankind...

So no. Things are magically going to be better simply by giving more to the wealthy. We don't owe them anything. They're wealthy because of many poor and middle class people doing jobs they rely on and they really do benefit from the poor and middle class and so they owe it to everyone else that help them get wealthy.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
The fact of the matter is that you simply cannot get rich without the help from a society and it's economy and usually without raping some group of people... So wealthy people have received far more from society and so they should give far more back.
Conversely, we would never have come as far as we have with computers and computing if it had not been for the wealthy. The more we give them, the better it is going to get. The harder we make it for them to become wealthy, the less progress there is going to be. We owe more to them, than the other way around.


Ummmm... Are you sure about that? Ten seconds of research will show that you are wrong.

http://www.indeed.com/salary/Scientist.html

Most major breakthrough developments come from scientists usually working for universities. Checking that chart (I, of course, do not know if it's exactly right but it does seem pretty close) you can see that scientists are not paid huge salaries (although they do make really good livings).

Besides, most scientists have some sort of philanthropy in them and do not do it just for the money... The main reason is that there are far more lucrative careers to go into if you just care about money... Most of them love science and either do their research because of an interest in the subject or because they want to help mankind...

So no. Things are magically going to be better simply by giving more to the wealthy. We don't owe them anything. They're wealthy because of many poor and middle class people doing jobs they rely on and they really do benefit from the poor and middle class and so they owe it to everyone else that help them get wealthy.
I agree with all of what you have said, except you have not allowed for major breakthroughs that have been driven by marketing. Such as going from Video to DVD and now even better than that. And the same with computers and computing and changes in software.

Gates was a master at marketing. Jobs may have had the better computer, the Apple Mac, but it was Gates who got people to buy into Microsoft. The more they bought his products, the more innovations he created, to get even richer than before. Somehow that got the hardware to be improved as well, as with every new version of software that came out, hardware had to be upgraded so that it could be faster.
Afaceinthematrix
Mathematicians develop techniques, scientists use those techniques to make discoveries, engineers apply those discoveries in industry. There's an old joke, "How many libertarians does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. Because they believe that the free market will do it." Just because there's a demand for something (like cars ran on something other than gasoline) doesn't mean that someone who wants to make money will simply come up with it. That idea is ludicrous and that's exactly what you're saying. It takes someone who is extremely educated (like a scientist, engineer, etc.) to come up with these new technologies. A wealthy person might capitalize off of the discovery and produce it in industry, but as I said, they are raping the hard work of the scientist. They might even higher the team of scientists that develop the technology... but is it the team of scientists that will become extremely wealthy? Probably not... So the wealthy person is getting more wealthy because of someone else. That brings me to my original point. People become wealthy from society and so they should give more back to society.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
raping the hard work of the scientist.
Sounds as though you have rape on your mind. Smile

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
They might even higher the team of scientists that develop the technology... but is it the team of scientists that will become extremely wealthy? Probably not... So the wealthy person is getting more wealthy because of someone else.
No, they are getting wealthy because they are good at employing the right people to do the research. Without them, the "right people" may not have been employed. If the "right people" have the same savvy, they can also go out and be wealthy, but not many people have that fire in them and the acumen to set up shop and make millions out of it.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
People become wealthy from society and so they should give more back to society.
The wealthy do put back into society. Look at your big investment firms, and you will notice they are involved in voluntary giving projects all over the show, as it can make them more rich. The more they give back to society, the wealthier they get.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

That would be progressive taxation, which doesn't take from any "specific group" but from any according to income.

So, why do the wealthy not count as a 'specific group'?

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
It's quite ingenious, really -- higher tax returns for 95% of Americans, a tiny increase (just a return to pre-Bush levels) for the richest, and yet more funds for programs in the end.

Ingenious, but unfair and immoral.
There are a lot of strange definitions of morality out there.

And which of those strange definitions says it's okay to take disproportionately more from any specific group?


Look, you can't get rich without society. You simply cannot. You get rich by reaping benefits of a society and usually by raping some group of people (usually the poor).

Rolling Eyes
Sure... The majority of rich people became so by 'raping' the poor. Extremely rare for anyone to become rich by providing a useful innovation or service, or by simple luck.
You're sounding a little dogmatic there.

Quote:
Furthemore, sense wealth =/= hard work, wealthy people often have not worked any harder for their wealth than many other people. So I really don't understand the concept of any "deserving" wealth. So take money from the poor or take money from the rich?

Take money from all of them, except those who truly can't afford it. - that's fair.
It doesn't matter if they deserve it- taking it only because they have it is no better than thievery.
Quote:

The fact of the matter is that you simply cannot get rich without the help from a society and it's economy and usually without raping some group of people... So wealthy people have received far more from society and so they should give far more back.

Ah, I think I see our fundamental disagreement.
In my ideal, government =/= society.
If government and society are not interchangeable terms, can the rich be said to have benefited from the government more than the poor?
Bikerman
Quote:
Extremely rare for anyone to become rich by providing a useful innovation or service, or by simple luck. You're sounding a little dogmatic there.

Let's say you have a brilliant idea (you design a new widgit of some sort). Now, who is going to make your widgit?
I think you will find that the majority (yes, I mean to use that word) of people work as hard or harder than any 'innovator' or 'inventor'. I think you will also find that it is rare to invent your way to a fortune - very rare. Most people who earn the really big bucks do so based on exploitation of one sort or another. The senior manager of the large corporation earns his money by diverting resources from the workforce to the share-holders (generally called 'efficiency'). The hedge-fund manager/broker/banker earns top dollar simply because there is no mechanism to tell them otherwise, not because they bring the equivalent benefit to society - often they bring no benefit at all, and it is quite easy to argue that most of them are actually parasites.

Sure, there are some Bill Gates characters who can say 'I did it myself'. But did he? How many small companies has Microsoft screwed?

The whole system of financial reward is screwed-up, and has always been so. It is not rational to say that Bill Gates is 50 thousand times more productive (or useful, or beneficial to society, or deserving) than a guy on an average wage. The money that Gates has (and I've only picked Gates because he is a particular example of the 'self made man', not because I have a particular issue or problem with him specifically) comes from the pockets of you, me and other 'normal' people. A system that allows Gates to accumulate 70 billion dollars, and pays the medical researcher (who saves hundreds of thousands of lives by developing a cure for polio) about $14,000 per year* cannot be justified in any rational way that I can see...

* I'm guessing at the $14,000 figure, but if Sabin was earning 'normal rate' for a medical researcher, then it won't be far out.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

The whole system of financial reward is screwed-up, and has always been so. It is not rational to say that Bill Gates is 50 thousand times more productive (or useful, or beneficial to society, or deserving) than a guy on an average wage. The money that Gates has (and I've only picked Gates because he is a particular example of the 'self made man', not because I have a particular issue or problem with him specifically) comes from the pockets of you, me and other 'normal' people. A system that allows Gates to accumulate 70 billion dollars, and pays the medical researcher (who saves hundreds of thousands of lives by developing a cure for polio) about $14,000 per year* cannot be justified in any rational way that I can see...

I'm not claiming that the system rationally rewards people based on the benefit they give to society. The system rewards people based on benefit they give to each other- which is subjective in every case.

My point is simply that saying 'rich people get rich usually by raping the poor' sounds more like Marxist dogma than actual fact.

Now, Bill Gates may have screwed over a large number of small businesses, but can he be said to have derived his wealth 'by raping the poor'?

The CEO who saves money from the payroll and funnels it to the investors is hurting the employees some, but I wouldn't call that 'rape'... (Which is, by definition, involuntary, while the employees work at that company voluntarily.) And, in the long run, what's good for the company is good for the employees. It does the employees no good if their company fails, leaving them unemployed, because the company couldn't stay competitive with high payroll expenses.

Now, the hedge-fund manager... He is mostly a parasite, gleaning his little bit off of larger transactions. But mainly, he lives as a parasite of the rich, not the poor. What truly poor person has money in hedge funds?
Bikerman
Well, just about everyone has money in the stock market, directly or indirectly. Hedge fund managers do, indeed, work for rich clients on the whole. Brokers and investment agents and a whole tribe of other parasites are indeed working with my money, your money, and anyone's money who has a pension scheme, long term investment, bonds, endowment or other quite normal asset.
I would not have used the word 'rape' (and I didn't intend to defend that specific word), but that is because I do not wish to see that word diluted by inappropriate use. It describes, for me, a particular crime of violence and I would prefer not to apply it wider.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
Extremely rare for anyone to become rich by providing a useful innovation or service, or by simple luck. You're sounding a little dogmatic there.

Let's say you have a brilliant idea (you design a new widgit of some sort). Now, who is going to make your widgit?
I think you will find that the majority (yes, I mean to use that word) of people work as hard or harder than any 'innovator' or 'inventor'. I think you will also find that it is rare to invent your way to a fortune - very rare.
Who said anything about someone inventing their way into riches? I'm sure Gates did not invent his desktop computer. But he had the savvy to get others to do it and think big enough in order to sell it to millions of other people. He was willing to risk everything he had in order to launch Microsoft and he did it by getting people to work for him. He paid them quite well for services rendered. If they felt exploited, they could easily have gone out and done the same Gates did. But did they have the same marketing genius he had? I don't think so. That just does not fall out of the sky. I remember while I was living in Vancouver, Canada, that we often bumped into Microsoft programmers who visited BC from Seattle, and they were paid huge salaries, including benefits and options to buy Microsoft shares. Microsoft was attracting brilliant software engineers, because it was lucrative for them to be employed by Microsoft. Similarly though, they could have gone out and started their own companies too, but obviously did not have the talent for it, or it was just not what they were interested in. Those programmers provided a service, for which they were handsomely rewarded. As opposed to exploited.
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
I would not have used the word 'rape' (and I didn't intend to defend that specific word), but that is because I do not wish to see that word diluted by inappropriate use.


I'm sorry if that offended anyone, but I do not think my use of the word is inappropriate. By rape, I mean extreme cases of people being taken advantage of. There are extreme cases in this world of that. Now that doesn't really apply to anyone here because we are all at least wealthy enough to be using a computer. But cases like these do exist. Americans get common merchandise cheap at WalMart because it comes from sweatshops in Asia. When what you have is received by relying on someone else getting completely screwed in life, I consider it raping the hard work of others (which we are all guilty of; some people are guiltier to a greater extent than others). I do not think that this dilutes the term and/or crime; it just applies it to a different situation. Rape is a sexual term. It is the worse form of taking advantage of someone else sexually. However, I've always extended the term (yeah I know this isn't the dictionary definition but everyone understands what I'm saying by context) to any situation of being brutally taken advantage of. For instance, strawberry farmers (often being immigrants) in Southern California grow strawberries for a huge portion of the world. They are not even paid living wage. Research has shown the the average family of four would only have to spend approximately fifty dollars per year to be able to pay these poor farmers a living wage. Yet we don't do this? These people work extremely hard (growing strawberries is one of the most labor intensive jobs in the world) and they aren't even paid a living wage just so that we can save a few dollars. This really is taking extreme advantage of people (which is a common practice in capitalism) and everyone of us here is guilty of this in some way or another... It is quite sad...


Anyways... I really didn't want to ramble on about that. When I first used the term, I didn't think I would have to explain myself. If I did, I wouldn't have used it. However, I decided to explain myself because I realized that many people probably found it offensive and I didn't want to get warned or have this topic locked on account of me. I've already shared my view and Bikerman backed it up. So I do not really feel the need to reiterate it much more. It has been said. The fact of the matter is that you cannot get rich without the benefit of a society because someone has to the necessary lower jobs that enable you to even get rich! A team of scientist might make some ground breaking discovery (let's say, for the sake of example, a car that efficiently runs off of an alternative and better fuel source). Somebody will use their knowledge and market it. That individual will make millions or billions yet they didn't even make the discovery! Why should they make more money than the scientists who actually made the discovery? I don't think they should but that's how our society works. I can live with that... but it makes much more sense to tax that person more than the scientists. He/she wouldn't even have that money without them! A doctor can't become a doctor without teachers. An athlete can't become an athlete without coaches. Bill Gates could not have made Microsoft without programmers. The people on top rely on almost everyone below them and they would not be on the top without them. Therefore, society has given them more and they should, therefore, give more back.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Therefore, society has given them more and they should, therefore, give more back.


Again we have the problem of 'giving back to society' and 'the government taking' being used interchangeably...

Explain, please, how taxing this group disproportionately more benefits strawberry-pickers in Mexico, or factory workers in China...
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Therefore, society has given them more and they should, therefore, give more back.


Again we have the problem of 'giving back to society' and 'the government taking' being used interchangeably...

Explain, please, how taxing this group disproportionately more benefits strawberry-pickers in Mexico, or factory workers in China...


That's not. Reread my first paragraph and you'll see that I was merely defending my use of the term rape and describing exactly what I meant by it.

And the difference between giving back to society and the government taking money? You have heard of taxes, right? Society wouldn't function without them... Paying them sucks but most people realize it's necessary.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

And the difference between giving back to society and the government taking money? You have heard of taxes, right? Society wouldn't function without them... Paying them sucks but most people realize it's necessary.

No, government wouldn't function without taxes.
Or do you think government and society are really the same entity?
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

And the difference between giving back to society and the government taking money? You have heard of taxes, right? Society wouldn't function without them... Paying them sucks but most people realize it's necessary.

No, government wouldn't function without taxes.
Or do you think government and society are really the same entity?


No. Government and society are not the same thing. But society wouldn't function without government. Do you honestly think it would? The government, with our taxes, provides (I'm sure you know this, but you're acting like you don't):

Roads, schools, military, environmental regulations, protection (fire/police), etc... All of these things we rely on...

Of course the last person I told this to thought he'd get clever and reply with, "Well the people can get together to protect the city as well as raise money to build roads and other things." Of course that "clever" person didn't seem to realize that that IS a government.

Hell, I'm not into big government regulation in personal lives. I've always argued that banning any drug or any action that doesn't hurt someone else is in general wrong. But we need the government for these things and we need taxes. Society benefits from these taxes and since society gives more to the very wealthy then the very wealthy need to give more back to society (either in the form of taxes or tax deductible charitable actions).
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

And the difference between giving back to society and the government taking money? You have heard of taxes, right? Society wouldn't function without them... Paying them sucks but most people realize it's necessary.

No, government wouldn't function without taxes.
Or do you think government and society are really the same entity?


No. Government and society are not the same thing. But society wouldn't function without government. Do you honestly think it would? The government, with our taxes, provides (I'm sure you know this, but you're acting like you don't):

Society also couldn't really function without, say, gas stations. Does that obligate gas stations to charge more (per gallon) to the wealthy?
Quote:

Roads, schools, military, environmental regulations, protection (fire/police), etc... All of these things we rely on...

We all rely on... And if I may say so, the poor actually rely on government much more than the rich do.
Quote:

Of course the last person I told this to thought he'd get clever and reply with, "Well the people can get together to protect the city as well as raise money to build roads and other things." Of course that "clever" person didn't seem to realize that that IS a government.

Well, that depends on how loose you're going to play with the term 'government'.
One difference between what's traditionally considered a government and that suggestion is that a government involuntarily includes all residents in its jurisdiction, while the suggestion there seems to imply voluntary involvement.
Quote:

Hell, I'm not into big government regulation in personal lives. I've always argued that banning any drug or any action that doesn't hurt someone else is in general wrong.

Of course. As expected, the libertarian (me) agrees with the leftist (in the kindest sense of the word) about this.
Quote:
But we need the government for these things and we need taxes.

True, but the government also does many things we arguably don't need; paying taxes towards those programs may even harm society.
Quote:
Society benefits from these taxes and since society gives more to the very wealthy then the very wealthy need to give more back to society (either in the form of taxes or tax deductible charitable actions).

Even with a flat percentage rate tax, the wealthy do 'give back more to society'.
Proportionately more- precisely commensurate with their higher income.
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