More on the Buffet rule and fair share of taxes. (in Debates)


QBRanger September 21 2011 1:58 PM EDT

Interesting article from a yes, right wing site.

However I do not think the facts are in dispute. If they are, I apologize in advance if someone can show me where they are wrong.

But.. What is a "fair share"? when the top .1% pay more taxes than the bottom 60ish%.

And this junk about Buffet paying less % than his secretary is a very rare occurance likely due to all the tax shelters which Buffett has.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/top-01-percent-pays-more-income-tax-bottom-80-percent_594000.html

Now...

I am certainly for removing loopholes that allow the Buffett type of scenarios to happen.

I am against a blanket statement that the "rich" have to pay their fair share and we need to increase their rates when we already have the most progressive tax system in the world.

I am also against raising capital gains rates as they are lower due to the risk involved in gaining those rates. There are of course ways to abuse such rates, like some fund owners use. But these can be loopholes closed like above.

I would like a nice non name calling discussion about this article and the facts in the article.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 2:33 PM EDT

i really don't see where the article is that interesting. from an argument standpoint it is the same thing that has been argued for years.

the income tax system we have is based on paying a percentage of your income. looking at it any other way is not working within the system. the article thinks the super-wealthy should have to pay less of their percentage of income than other americans.

as for capital gains, should people with high risk careers (firefighters for example) get a tax break because their income comes with higher risks? that is also not the system we have. income is income is income and should all be taxed at a similar rate regardless of whether or not you actually have to work for it.

QBRanger September 21 2011 2:44 PM EDT

So Dude,

How much is a "fair share" for the "rich" to pay?

Do they not already pay enough, as in the most % of the federal income tax payments?

And if we raise capital gains rates people will not invest or are less likely to invest.

As to the fireman analogy, they take the job knowing what the risk is. Just like people who invest take the chance knowing it is a rish. If we change the rules for capital gains do not be suprised if there is unintended consequences down the road.

the article thinks the super-wealthy should have to pay less of their percentage of income than other americans

I did not get that impression from the article. I got the impression that this class warfare rhetoric we are seeing from the White House is just hot air with little basis in reality other than to "spread the wealth around".

Lord Bob September 21 2011 2:50 PM EDT

I'll try to get to the article later, if I have time.

Ranger, I have a related question for you. There is a lot of talk among the Republican nominees about "broadening the base," which is really just code for "raise taxes on the poor."

Do you support raising taxes on the poor? If so, do you support raising taxes on the poor while simultaneously cutting taxes for the ultra-wealthy?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 2:51 PM EDT

And if we raise capital gains rates people will not invest or are less likely to invest.

how so, we got into this discussion before and you dropped it. i still don't understand a connection and you never showed one before. you talked also then about people not investing in structure or inventory for businesses which has nothing at all to do with capital gains so please tell me exactly how increasing capital gains tax has any effect on investment!

you say you want an nice discussion and then use terms like class warfare and spreading the wealth?

if middle-class americans pay 35% of their income then the super wealthy should pay no less than 35%. we have an alternative minimum tax, it sounds like the author would like to have a alternative maximum tax as well.

QBRanger September 21 2011 2:56 PM EDT

I would really like your opinion on the article.

Do you support raising taxes on the poor? If so, do you support raising taxes on the poor while simultaneously cutting taxes for the ultra-wealthy?

As I have stated, I would prefer a flat or fair tax. A fair tax with a FCA or a flat tax with deductions.

Will this cause the poor to pay more? Not likely as there is a minimum you have to make to start paying. Would it make the rich pay less? Some yes, some no, since most tax shelters and deductions would be eliminated. It would make people like Buffett pay more.

Right now we have people getting back money due to all the tax breaks and loopholes. That is not right either.

The more I think about things, the more I like a Fair tax over a Flat tax. But I am still learning about both.

But as far as the rich paying their "fair share", the rich already are. They pay most of the income taxes in the country. While 47-50% pay nothing or even get money back. How much more is a "fair share"?

Lord Bob September 21 2011 2:58 PM EDT

I got the impression that this class warfare rhetoric ..
And on that note I still have yet to see a response from you on this brilliant decimation of the REPUBLICANS' class warfare rhetoric:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-august-18-2011-anne-hathaway

Also, more Anne Hathaway.

QBRanger September 21 2011 2:58 PM EDT

if middle-class americans pay 35% of their income then the super wealthy should pay no less than 35%. we have an alternative minimum tax, it sounds like the author would like to have a alternative maximum tax as well.

Middle class americans pay nowhere near 35%.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:01 PM EDT

how does increasing capital gains tax deter investment? if you are going to keep saying this then you owe us at least an explanation of how this will occur.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:02 PM EDT

i thought the "if" made it clear as an example, do you not understand the example?

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:05 PM EDT

Dude,

Perhaps this article is the best I could find on the capital gains situation:
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/CapitalGainsTaxes.html

A key paragraph

It may seem a paradox that a lower capital gains tax typically leads to more tax revenues collected from the tax. But, really, there is no mystery here. As mentioned, the capital gains tax is an easily avoided tax. When the tax rate is high, investors simply delay selling their assetsラstocks, properties, businesses, and so onラto keep the tax collector away from their door. When the capital gains tax is cut, asset holders are more likely to sell. Moreover, because a lower capital gains tax substantially lowers the cost of capital, it encourages risk-taking and causes the economy to grow faster, thus raising all government receipts in the long term.

LB,

I am trying to watch the Daily Show but am not really a Stewart fan for the most part.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 3:06 PM EDT

I am trying to watch the Daily Show but am not really a Stewart fan for the most part.

But, it's the Anne Hathaway episode!!!!

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:07 PM EDT

Dude,

This paragraph also:

Venture capital funds are the economic lifeblood of high-technology companies in industries that are critical to U.S. international competitiveness: computer software, biotechnology, computer engineering, electronics, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and so forth. The high capital gains tax rate appears to have contributed to the drying up of funding sources for those promising new frontier firms following the 1986 tax hike. Significantly, the massive technology boom of the late 1990s came immediately after the 1997 capital gains tax cut, unleashing another period of venture activity (Figure 3).

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:13 PM EDT

those are all opinions, they do no explain the mechanism by which capital gains tax can prevent investment. from several statements you have made it sounds like you personally understand how this functions.

i am asking for you to explain, in your own words, how in the heck a higher capital gains tax can prevent people from investing as from my personal standpoint and understanding of capital gains i see no way it can do this.

you stated in the other thread that people won't invest in equipment or building improvements. i explained to you that they pay no capital gains on the investment, only on the sell of such and then only if they make a profit, after depreciation.

i just want you to explain yourself as i could be wrong but i just don't see how it is possible.

Sickone September 21 2011 3:17 PM EDT

How about a flat 30% tax on everything, NO DEDUCTIONS ?
:P

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:17 PM EDT

LB,

I just finished the video.

Your point? The problem we have is not a revenue problem. The rich already pay enough. The problem is the spending. Which went up greatly the last 3 years.

So how much more do the "rich" have to pay? Certainly the spending increased under Bush, but exploded under Obama. And now he wants to tax the rich to pay for all his spending.

Another stimulus to pay off the unions paid by the "rich"?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:17 PM EDT

the venture capital thing is the closest you have come but that can be dismissed because correlation does not imply causation. they show no link other than timing and i could easily find examples that show the opposite.

let's look at the meat though. you are saying that capital gains taxes being high discourage people from investing in venture capital, correct?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 3:18 PM EDT

Dude, price of milk just went up to $20 a gallon. You going to buy less milk now?


...


I rest my case.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:21 PM EDT

titan, that is not an investment. try again but think about your case this time! ; )

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 3:26 PM EDT

Dude have you actually done any research on your side. There's a lot of proof in Ranger's statement. If you believe the idea that a well done stimulus package can work, then you have to believe what Ranger is saying. It's not even an argued fact among economist. I said the above because it's like saying the sun is hot, it should be common sense. The only argument that ever should take place when taxes are being discussed are whether the benefits outweigh the negatives. High capital gains taxes decrease investment, it's as much a theory as evolution is. So ask the only question that is important... Is it worth it.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:28 PM EDT

here, let me help. i have 10m to invest as venture capital. we have two scenarios: capital gains tax at 15% or at 30%. i invest and during 12 months my 10m is turned into 11m.

i only pay capital gains on the 1m gain. under one scenario i pay 150k in capital gains tax whereas under the other one i pay 300k. this means i still profit somewhere between 700k to 850k.

yeah, i could have put that in a cd at the bank and gotten maybe 5% roi. this means i would end up with 50k which i would still pay capital gains on.

so you guys are saying that due to the capital gains tax being 30% i would choose to just sit on my money making no profit or take much less with less risk?

now if there were other investments that were safer that fell somewhere between the current capital gains rate and any new proposal, then it could have an effect. i would love to know about those investments so please cm me! ; )

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:30 PM EDT

titan, that is not an investment. try again but think about your case this time! ; )

No, not milk. But substitute the word commodity and it holds true.

Or substitute the word factor and business investments.

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:30 PM EDT

FactorY

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 3:31 PM EDT

700k to 850k

You realized you just proved yourself wrong right? I'll let it set in for a little....

....
....
....

Okay, the reason people invest in high risk investments is b/c they also offer high rewards. If you instead lower the risk to reward ratio people are going to invest less. There is no arguing this, it's a fact... Really, the question is "Is it worth it?"

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:31 PM EDT

^see above. how do you pay capital gains on a factory ranger? you stated this before, this is what i do not understand!

as far as commodities go, see above!

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:32 PM EDT

i explained that people will only choose not to invest if there is an option that is better, see the last paragraph please.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 3:33 PM EDT

30% risk you'll a lot of money

50% chance you'll gain 1M

50% chance you'll gain 800k

50% chance you'll gain 500k

Do you see how those go down you'll be less likely to take that risk? Some people would be willing to take all three risks, some people not.

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:33 PM EDT

here, let me help. i have 10m to invest as venture capital. we have two scenarios: capital gains tax at 15% or at 30%. i invest and during 12 months my 10m is turned into 11m.

There lies the problem you are having with your understanding.

You are assuming investments ALWAYS make a profit. If that were true, your scenario would hold completely true.

But in real life, there is a chance your investments will lose value. While putting them in a CD is almost always safe.

There is a point where investors think: "Is my return on investment going to be good enough for me to take a chance with my money?".

The higher the capital gains rate is, the more the answer to that question is no.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 3:34 PM EDT

No risk vs. Risk.... I'm out of this convo. Go talk to economists first. I have some eco books I could probably send you if you pay shipping.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:35 PM EDT

even if people do choose a better investment, this still hasn't kept people from investing which is what is claimed. they chose to invest in some other investment.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:36 PM EDT

capital gains is only paid on gains, losses help your overall annual tax ranger.

titan, please quit trolling!

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:46 PM EDT

even if people do choose a better investment, this still hasn't kept people from investing which is what is claimed. they chose to invest in some other investment.

That is not what the imperical evidence shows. Like the article I quoted. Higher capital gains=less investment.

capital gains is only paid on gains, losses help your overall annual tax ranger.

Yes, it is only on gains. Which is not guaranteed. And losses, while subject to a tax break is still losses. In the best case you get a credit of the top bracket of 36% on the loss. Meaning you still lose 64% of your money.

titan, please quit trolling!

I do not see Titan as trolling. I do see him getting a bit frustrated as I am getting. You asked for how raising capital gains rates decreases investment. Like in factories. I tried to carefully explain it but it seems we are at in impass.

But let us try 1 more time.

I have 1M to invest. In a factory or oil. If the capital gains rate is 75%, I would rather keep my money in the bank at a 1% interest rate rather than build a factor, hire people with a chance I could lose the whole thing. And lost 640k with the tax break.

If I get real lucky I double my money and after taxes make 250k.

If the capital gains rate was 10%, I would be more likely to invest knowing if I got lucky and doubled my money, I would make 900k with a possible max loss of 640k after taxes.

It is all risk/reward with capital gains. Lower the possible reward and less people play the game.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:49 PM EDT

that is where you aren't understanding the question ranger. in what scenario will anyone have to pay capital gains for building a factory or hiring people? that is not how capital gains works.

QBRanger September 21 2011 3:55 PM EDT

The act of building the factor itself is not a capital gains. You are correct.

But when people invest in their business, they pay can pay a part of their income via capital gains. It is how the tax code in America works. If you have inventory from producting something, most of the time, when you sell it, it can be at capital gains. It is part of the reason GE was able to pay 0 income tax. In addition to offsetting their taxes with losses from other parts of their company.

If I have money to invest or add to my business, with a high capital gains, why would I spend it on a factory knowing if it succeeds I will not make as big a profit as I want/need for that risk.

Yes, you are 100% correct in the static act of building a factor is not immediately related to capital gains.

But also, if that building grows in value, the higher the capital gains in the future will make it worth less due to the increase taxes if you sell your company. And plenty of people build their business in hopes of selling out and cashing in the future.

It is all interrelated with respect to future profits. Higher CG=less profit potential=less investments.

Quyen September 21 2011 3:56 PM EDT

...
DiscussionBlender ftw.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 3:56 PM EDT

on any capital expenditure within a company you pay a certain price. then you depreciate the expense of the item, factory in this example, over time. the only time you would ever pay capital gains on such an capital expenditure is if you sell it later for a profit or more than the original price minus any accrued depreciation.

so using that example. let's say i spend 100m on a factory. i depreciate it 10m a year for ten years.

if i am still using the factory 20 years later, no capital gains will have ever been paid.

if i sell it after 5 years i would have to sell it for more than 50m or else i would not pay any capital gains on it.

capital gains are only taxed when you sell an investment for a gain.

QBRanger September 21 2011 4:01 PM EDT

I will give you a personal example.

I have a bit of money from the sale of my Radiology business.

I was going to invest in a business with a friend. However, with the current administration and its rhetoric towards success, I decided not to invest.

This business venture did not get off the ground, and with it a potential 7-8 jobs did not occur.

Why did I decide not to invest? Because I am taking a risk with my money. Some of the venture was buying land and setting up a small building. But after looking at how this president acts towards the "rich", I decided to wait until more certainty was in the government before spending and risking my money.

This is occurring all over the country. Small investors like myself and large ones alike are hording their cash afraid of what is being said out of the White House. The tax the rich, they can afford it rhetoric. Fine, no problem for me. I will keep my money in safe bonds and grade A stocks like Apple until we have an administration that is more to my point of view on business and how to help businesses succeed.

QBRanger September 21 2011 4:02 PM EDT

if i am still using the factory 20 years later, no capital gains will have ever been paid.

if i sell it after 5 years i would have to sell it for more than 50m or else i would not pay any capital gains on it.

Yes, but many people invest hoping to sell in the future. Whether 1 year or 5 year or never.

But the thought of a higher CG may be the tipping point in not making that investment.


Lord Bob September 21 2011 4:03 PM EDT

Your point?
My point is that you can knock it off with the class warfare nonsense right about now, especially when it's your side waging it.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 4:03 PM EDT

But when people invest in their business, they pay can pay a part of their income via capital gains.

that isn't very clear to me on exactly how that can happen. elaborate perhaps?

QBRanger September 21 2011 4:08 PM EDT

that isn't very clear to me on exactly how that can happen. elaborate perhaps?

As I know, from speaking with tax attorneys, if you build something that takes over 1 year, and then sell it, you can claim the profit via CG on the whole sale vs the individual parts.

If you have inventory like Amazon in a warehouse that sits for over a year, you can CG it.

There is a first in/first out principle. That is the government assumes the first piece of inventory is the one you sold. So if you have inventory over 1 year and were never out of stock, it assumes that you are paying CG instead of normal tax. IIRC from my tax discussions with my attorney.

QBRanger September 21 2011 4:11 PM EDT

My point is that you can knock it off with the class warfare nonsense right about now, especially when it's your side waging it.

It is not nonsense. It is what is happening right now. Saying tax the rich more is classic.

Just becuase you do not like the term, does not mean it is not occurring in every speach Obama now gives.

Instead of saying everyone needs to help or pitch in, I only read and hear about how the rich have to "pay their fair share". Polls very well with America but is class warfare anyway you look at it.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 4:14 PM EDT

capital gains only affect non-inventory assets.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 4:35 PM EDT

as for the sell of a business, capital gains are paid on assets while profits on other items would be taxed as personal income. there are ways to minimize either of these effects which means people are paying less already than the stated rates but the current capital gains is the lesser of the evils.

if what you are saying is true then business would never grow as more profit would mean higher income which would mean if they ever decide to sell their business they would be taxed at a higher rate due to the income tax structure for the non-capital gains part that is.

i would say the simplest solution is to always have the capital gains be the smaller of the two.

the above is for non corporations, corporations are handled very differently for tax purposes.

Lord Bob September 21 2011 4:45 PM EDT

It is not nonsense. It is what is happening right now.
Oh, it sure is. From the Republicans. It's right there in phrases like "broaden the base," "everyone needs to help or pitch in," or "99% of the poor own, *gasp!* a REFRIGERATOR! Dun dun DUUUUNN!" Or continually referring to programs for the poor as socialism, or welfare. Class warfare, waged against the working class.

I absolutely agree. It's class warfare. Clear as day. You're just pulling another case of "it's only ok when we do it!"

QBRanger September 21 2011 4:50 PM EDT

How are statements that we should broaden the base, that is have everyone pay some tax when some do not now class warfare?

How is a statement that everyone needs to pitch in pitting one class vs another?

Statements like "the RICH need to pay their fair share" is different from the above. Esp when the "rich" already pay more than their fair share, as in most taxes.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 4:51 PM EDT

how is saying everyone should pay the same percentage of their income? it works both ways.


QBRanger September 21 2011 4:54 PM EDT

how is saying everyone should pay the same percentage of their income? it works both ways.

What?!? Everyone paying the same % is everyone pitching it. That is not putting one class vs the other saying they have to pay more. For the same or even less benefits from the government.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 4:55 PM EDT

great, then choose to look at it as asking for everyone to pay the same percentage wise.

QBRanger September 21 2011 4:58 PM EDT

great, then choose to look at it as asking for everyone to pay the same percentage wise.

Not really sure what your are stating there.

I have advocated for a Flat or Fair tax. In the article above in the OP, it is proven that the "rich" pay a lot more % than the "poor". There are of course individuals that get around those rules like Mr. Buffett. But as a whole the top earners pay a lot more in % in taxes then the lower earners.

One cannot look at 1 outlier like Mr. Buffett who pays less % than others in his bracket. That is why I like the Flat or Fair tax, to get rid of these abusers of the system.

And while Mr. Buffett and state he wants others to pay more, he certainly can put his money where his mouth is and donate more to the government.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 5:01 PM EDT

isn't that all he is asking for is that everyone pay the same percentage of income regardless of the type of income.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=2

he also covers, much more eloquently and matter of factly than i did why potential taxes on potential gains will not scare off investors.

sounds like buffet needs titan's economy books as well! ; )

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 5:04 PM EDT

he actually states many have less payroll and more capital gains income than he making him not the aberration.

Lord Bob September 21 2011 5:04 PM EDT

How are statements that we should broaden the base
I already told you. This is all Frank Luntz code for "the poor have too much! We should tax the poor, cut programs that help them, kill their unions so they can bargain for even LESS of the nation's wealth than they have, and call them lazy socialists if they don't agree!"

QBRanger September 21 2011 5:04 PM EDT

If we tax capital gains at normal taxes, investment and growth will grind to a halt.

While the mechanics of it seem to be in dispute, the evidence from the past clearly shows that.

Fine, if you want to tax capital gains at normal income do it. However, I would never invest in a company.

Mr Buffett rides in different circles than the normal people. His investment opportunities are quite sound and in some cases leveraged against loss.

That does not hold true for the millions of normal people without such connections or access to leveraged buyouts.

Beware of the unintended consequences of what you wish for.

QBRanger September 21 2011 5:09 PM EDT

. This is all Frank Luntz code for "the poor have too much! We should tax the poor, cut programs that help them, kill their unions so they can bargain for even LESS of the nation's wealth than they have, and call them lazy socialists if they don't agree!"

God you read into that excessively.

I never said the poor have too much. I stated that they are not the poor of Africa. They do have homes, refrigerators, cell phones, TV's, playstations etc..

I never said those below the poverty line should be taxes. The Fair or Flat tax I like both have exclusions for those truly poor.

Unions are bad, pure evil now. It is where we disagree. Private unions perhaps but public no way. They give to Democrats who in turn give them excessive pensions and benefits which in turn fill their coffers to give more to Democrats. And in tough times as now, to take anything away leads to riots.

And what right to they have to try to get what others built? They are workers. They work for people. They have no right to the owners property. Let them go out and build something theirself.

And people who want to "spread the wealth around" without sacrificing themselves are yes, socialistic.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 5:12 PM EDT

While the mechanics of it seem to be in dispute, the evidence from the past clearly shows that.

mr. buffet cited evidence in his article to the contrary. so how is it clear exactly?

read the paragraph again regarding potential taxes and potential gains. i am not asking you to make a case to be difficult, i am truly unconvinced.

QBRanger September 21 2011 5:19 PM EDT

mr. buffet cited evidence in his article to the contrary. so how is it clear exactly?

What evidence? His interactions with other billionaires? I do not have the same ins to get leveraged financing. Nor do the millions of other small business owners looking to make a profit.

So Mr. Buffett can get investors at 100% capital gains rate. Wow, I am so impressed for a billionaire to get other billionaires to give him money on a sure thing.

What about the rest of us jerks trying to make it as a small business?

Lord Bob September 21 2011 5:25 PM EDT

God you read into that excessively.
No, not at all. It's is 100%, undeniable class warfare directed squarely at the working class. More so than the Obama comments you and the rightist media keep blowing way out of proportion. If anyone is reading into anything excessively it's you. One has only to watch Fox for a total of five minutes to see the Right's utter contempt of the working class in action.

I never said the poor have too much.
You pulled the refrigerator crap using the same statistics Fox used in the video I posted. The moment you start comparing the poor of the US with the poor in Africa, what you are trying to do is de-legitimize their claims, all so it's easier to funnel more wealth up the chain and away from the bulk of the people without a voice of opposition. Class warfare.

And what right to they have to try to get what others built? They are workers.
The workers did build it!

And people who want to "spread the wealth around" without sacrificing themselves are yes, socialistic.
More class warfare rhetoric. Here it is, from the right. Don't deny it.

I promise to stop calling "class warfare" if you do the same.

QBRanger September 21 2011 5:35 PM EDT

The workers did build it!

Using the capital and risk that the owners put up and took. The workers got paid to build it, and they want more? Greedy people for sure!! Taking what others have. Why do they have a right to what others have? Do it yourself, go out and risk your own money and time and succeed on your own instead of trying to take what is not yours.

Right's utter contempt of the working class in action.

We are viewing 2 different things I guess. I have no comptempt of the working class and nobody I asssociate with does. We have comtempt for those who want what others have and do not try to do it on their won. Who think they are entitled to what others have gotten via their hard work and sacrifice and risk.

That statement of comtempt by the Right is utter garbage. Just trash talk. Pathetic. I love the working class. My dad was one for his whole working life. Made it possible for me to go to college. But when I read/hear they want to take more of what I rightfully earned, that is pathetic.

You pulled the refrigerator crap using the same statistics Fox used in the video I posted. The moment you start comparing the poor of the US with the poor in Africa, what you are trying to do is de-legitimize their claims, all so it's easier to funnel more wealth up the chain and away from the bulk of the people without a voice of opposition. Class warfare.

We see this very differently. What you see as class warfare, I see as the poor not being as poor as you state. They have quite a few of the luxuries of everyone in the US. Poor can be a relative term. Poor for America or poor for the world. As to funnelling wealth up the chain, sure for those that actually risk and sacrifice and work for it, sure 100%!!!

I promise to stop calling "class warfare" if you do the same.

The class warfare I am stating is what is going on with the administration. What you are trying to say is class warfare is something I have no idea about. But it is very much like a game I used to play as a 4 year old. I would repeat whatever someone said to me until they shut up. Nice try, won't work. Pitting one group vs another as in saying the rich should pay more is so different from saying everyone needs to contribute.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 21 2011 5:56 PM EDT

"Using the capital and risk that the owners put up and took"

Are these the same kind of business investments that they write off on their taxes?

The rich should pay more because they get the most benefit from taxes. It also sounds like you are saying, they don't need a stove they already have a refrigerator. I need an indoor pool instead.

QBRanger September 21 2011 5:58 PM EDT

How do the rich get more benefit from taxes ?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 6:00 PM EDT

The rich should pay more because they get the most benefit from taxes.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Sorry, just couldn't resist.

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:01 PM EDT

And what about all the businesses that fail? Should the workers have to also lose the wages. Since they should get part of the profits acc to LB?

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 21 2011 6:01 PM EDT

Their businesses are mostly built on using public infrastructure, such as roads which provide them with transportation of good, customers etc. Not to mention they have a lot more being protected by the military, police etc than poor people do.

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:10 PM EDT

Uh, ever hear of property taxes?

Lord Bob September 21 2011 6:16 PM EDT

The workers got paid to build it, and they want more? Greedy people for sure!!
Class warfare rhetoric!

Do it yourself
They did do it themselves! The rich didn't! Workers built - literally built - everything you rich people have. Everything. Without the working class to do things for you, you have nothing.

I have no contempt of the working class
You have on many occasions shown a distaste for the working class, particularly public workers.

All coming from a guy who claims I have a hatred for "successful people." You are guilty of every single thing you so groundlessly accuse me and the broader left of doing and thinking.

That statement of contempt by the Right is utter garbage. Just trash talk. Pathetic.
Like every single thing you say about class warfare, your "Why all the hatred of rich people?" and your infamous cries of "socialist!" Every single time you've ever tried to give me my opinion on "success." Every single one of these little quips, these lies, that you use to slander the poor and the left. And me. Trash talk. Pathetic.

You are a hypocrite of the highest caliber Ranger. The highest caliber. But you know what? You'll find a way to justify it again, because as I say constantly, in your mind "it's only ok when the Right does it."

I'll say it again: the conservative media is waging class warfare against the working class in this nation. I have provided several examples. I'm sure I can pull up more. If you continue to bring it up I will continue to inform you where it is really coming from. That is my promise to you.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 21 2011 6:26 PM EDT

http://i.imgur.com/bdUCt.jpg

happened to be the top link on reddit...

I'm seriously wondering what (if anything) political discussion adds to CB

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:29 PM EDT

They did do it themselves! The rich didn't! Workers built - literally built - everything you rich people have. Everything. Without the working class to do things for you, you have nothing.

Wow, we have very very different view on things.

The workers got PAID to build it. The owners put up the capital and took the risk. However, for every worker who would not build things, there were 10 others willing to do it for a job. If there were no owners, then the working man would not even have a job.

And I love the class warfare by you--You rich people. Damm right I am well off, I worked my arse off for it.

You have on many occasions shown a distaste for the working class, particularly public workers.

uh no. My distaste is for the public sector unions. Who force public sector workers to join their union in order to have a job and then take the dues to buy off the government who in turn gives them better benefits than the common workers.

I love the police, firemen and other public sector workers. Their unions, not.

I'll say it again: the conservative media is waging class warfare against the working class in this nation.

Still on the "ill repeat whatever you say till I make you shut up" rhetoric. How 4 year old.

Lord Bob September 21 2011 6:29 PM EDT

More from Elizabeth Warren:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/class-warfare-elizabeth-warren-style/2011/03/03/gIQAeB2WlK_blog.html

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:31 PM EDT

Again novice,

Ever hear of property taxes? Factor owners pay a lot. I pay over 20k a year. And get the same police protection as the person paying nothing.

My property taxes go to the teachers, the roads, the police and other civil services.

So Elizabeth Warren is wrong. A member of the Obama staff who believes in redistribution of wealth. Taking from those who earned it and giving to those that did not.

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:35 PM EDT

Profession Warren fails to understand that the workers are being paid by the factor owners who in turn pay a higher tax rate and pay property taxes.

Turn it around. Without the factory owners, nobody would have a job and everyone would be poor.

This is almost identical to how the Russian revolution got started. The same rhetoric of the workers unite vs the bad corporations and owners. As if the owners did not deserve their success.

Lord Bob September 21 2011 6:36 PM EDT

Crap, Novice beat me to it.

Still on the "ill repeat whatever you say till I make you shut up" rhetoric.
It's not "I'll repeat what you say." It's "I'll correct you."

*grin*

The workers got PAID to build it.
Your point? They built it. Of course they should get paid for it.

My distaste is for the public sector unions.
Kill off the unions and the little that public sector employees have goes poof, probably along with lots and lots of their jobs. An attack on public sector unions is an outright attack on public workers.

And I'm fine with them contributing to politicians who back them, just as I'm sure you're ok with wealthy executives giving tons to the Republicans, given your stance on Citizens United.

"It's only ok when the right does it!"

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:50 PM EDT

Nope. We are forced to pay taxes which go to yhe public service unions. Therefore my money goes to people I dislike.

Nobody forces people to give money to corporations.

Big difference.

Lord Bob September 21 2011 6:53 PM EDT

Nobody forces people to give money to corporations.
General Electric.

QBRanger September 21 2011 6:53 PM EDT

Your point? They built it. Of course they should get paid for it.

So what is your point about them deserving more? They got paid for their labor. And they want more?

Lord Bob September 21 2011 6:56 PM EDT

Why not get more? They built it!

You want people to run your business, build your stuff, do stuff for you? They should get a portion of what you reap. If you're paying them slave wages while hording millions or billions in profits, I want to tax you (general "you," not specifically Ranger).

QBRanger September 21 2011 7:05 PM EDT

Why not get more? They built it!

Again, we are going in circles. Yes, they built it, but they got paid for it. They do not own it. They had no risk in starting it.

You want people to run your business, build your stuff, do stuff for you? They should get a portion of what you reap. If you're paying them slave wages while hording millions or billions in profits, I want to tax you (general "you," not specifically Ranger).

Who are you to define slave wages? We have a minimum wage and the free market should be allowed to determine how much is the wage that is needed for a particular job.

If someone is willing to dig ditches for 20 an hour and another for 10 bucks, that is what the market will bear. If the ditch digger does not like it, they can find another person to dig a ditch for.

But let me get this right. The owners should pay wages and give a part of their profits as well? That would stop me from starting a business in a heartbeat.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 21 2011 7:16 PM EDT

The political attack on the SEIU is genius as far as I'm concerned, it'll change the entire political landscape in this country.

The sooner the DNC fails and is no longer around to blame the sooner we can work on an actual two part system.

I'm completely under educated and ethically clueless when it comes to the logic each perspective uses, all I know is that I'm doing a lousy job empathizing with either one. The inability to communicate anything but nasty emotions is frustrating beyond description.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 9:10 PM EDT

What evidence? His interactions with other billionaires? I do not have the same ins to get leveraged financing. Nor do the millions of other small business owners looking to make a profit.

from the article:

I didn't refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone ~ not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 ~ shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what's happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

that is the same kind of evidence you quoted earlier i believe.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 9:13 PM EDT

Damm right I am well off, I worked my arse off for it.

Let's just be perfectly clear - while you may have worked hard with a goal, your circumstances put you in the situation you are in now. Not everyone is in those circumstances, and in fact, the majority is not.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 10:01 PM EDT

Let's just be perfectly clear - while you may have worked hard with a goal, your circumstances put you in the situation you are in now. Not everyone is in those circumstances, and in fact, the majority is not.

This kind of thinking disgust me. Have you ever seen someone who works their butt off at school and is anything but an above average student... NO! 90% of the population is completely responsible for what they reap. When I graduate from college and I'm making more than 60% of the population it's not because of my circumstances, it's because I worked my a off and I was willing to pay 40k+ in bettering my human capital.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 21 2011 10:11 PM EDT

how might that be different if you were born a short man with a hair lip? or say poor and homeless from childhood? stricken with disease?

Your circumstance is who you are, claiming others aren't working hard enough is unempathetic at best.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 10:12 PM EDT

This kind of thinking disgust me. Have you ever seen someone who works their butt off at school and is anything but an above average student... NO! 90% of the population is completely responsible for what they reap. When I graduate from college and I'm making more than 60% of the population it's not because of my circumstances, it's because I worked my a off and I was willing to pay 40k+ in bettering my human capital.

Titan.

Are you male?
White?
Straight?
Is your family not incredibly poor?
Are you able (not disabled)?
Are you religious?
Are you a sociable person?

For every one of these that you answered "yes," that is an answer which denotes an advantage you have that others around you are not guaranteed to have.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 10:17 PM EDT

how might that be different if you were born a short man with a hair lip? or say poor and homeless from childhood? stricken with disease?

I was plenty generous with 90%

Are you male?
White?
Straight?
Is your family incredibly poor?
Are you disabled?
Are you religious?
Are you a sociable person?

You have a sad warped view of reality.

QBRanger September 21 2011 10:18 PM EDT

Titan,

I hear and read this all the time. I must have had some advantage to be successful. They cannot do it because they have this and that problem.

My dad never made more than 60k a year, ever. We has a small house in NY. I went to college and medical school. Then did 5 years of post graduate training. Was hosed by 3 different radiology groups. Went out and started my own company and eventually sold it for a nice sum.

But somehow, someway, it is impossible for others to do the same because of their circumstances.

Perhaps for a few, yes. There are certainly inner city kids from broken homes with dad that have 5 baby mammas. Kids that will never have a chance. And my heart goes out to them. I do what I can, with free medical care to try.

But my upbringing was no different from >85% of America. I worked hard in school and got deep in school debt. Went to state schools to keep the cost down. Never attended a private school in my life. Studied hard because I knew what I wanted. Went many nights without sleep in the hospital. Missed countless weekends with my kids working in the hospital. Missed countless dinners with the family due to emergencies.

I made the choice to be what I am today. Nobody put a silver spoon in my mouth. And all I read now from the other side is this rhetoric where it is not "cool" to be successful. Where I, as a successful person, have to pay my "fair share". Dammit, I pay my fair share. I pay more than most people in taxes. Likely more than 99% of all taxpayers. How much more blood from the stone are they going to ask for?

It is always the fault of something or someone else. To hell with personal responsibility.

This is the problem we have in America. Everyone wants it, but few wish to work to get it.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 10:22 PM EDT

You have a sad warped view of reality.

Gee, what a perfect argument to counter mine. I'm convinced! o:

No, but really, at least I can recognize the advantages that the genetic lottery has spun in my favor. At very least, I'll never pretend that my success is allll because I'm just such an amazing, hard-working person.

That's a degrading view, Titan, of those around you who don't share that success. Did you ever consider that it wasn't for want of effort?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 10:23 PM EDT

Did you ever consider that it wasn't for want of effort?

Yeah about 10% of them...

Including religious... nice warped reality...

QBOddBird September 21 2011 10:25 PM EDT

My dad never made more than 60k a year, ever. We has a small house in NY. I went to college and medical school. Then did 5 years of post graduate training. Was hosed by 3 different radiology groups. Went out and started my own company and eventually sold it for a nice sum.

Did you have to help your dad make money to support your family, and were unable to go to college as a result? Did you have to drop out of high school to support your family? Were you able to get loans for those 5 years of post graduate, as well as graduate training? Were you able to make the connections and impressions necessary to eventually succeed?

But my upbringing was no different from >85% of America.

Why am I correcting you on this when I am so much younger? How can you be this uneducated?

I worked hard in school and got deep in school debt. Went to state schools to keep the cost down. Never attended a private school in my life. Studied hard because I knew what I wanted. Went many nights without sleep in the hospital. Missed countless weekends with my kids working in the hospital. Missed countless dinners with the family due to emergencies.

Didn't say you didn't work hard, but your circumstances allowed for your success. If you think only 15% of the population doesn't have the same opportunities you have, then you are sadly, horribly mistaken.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 10:26 PM EDT

Including religious... nice warped reality...

Damned straight religious. If you are religious in this country, specifically Christian, you are able to make bonds with other Christians as it is the predominant religion. You can request and receive support from your church and from the other members of your church. Don't forget, I was religious for a very long time. I know that there are advantages there.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 10:29 PM EDT

Have you ever been to college? There's just as many atheists as there are any other religion. I've never told an employer my religion. I'm done having this discussion with you. I don't know if there is something bitter from your past that gave you this view, or if you just are to influenced by some propaganda you've been told, but this isn't reality.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 10:31 PM EDT

Have you ever been to college? There's just as many atheists as there are any other religion. I've never told an employer my religion. I'm done having this discussion with you.

Yeah, I'm actually finishing up 8 years of college, having worked my way through and not taking any loans. I am well aware of how many atheists that are there.

Do you know what the phrase "net worth" means?

I don't know if there is something bitter from your past that gave you this view, or if you just are to influenced by some propaganda you've been told, but this isn't reality.

An argument for your position like "this isn't reality" doesn't hold much water with me. You're just making a baseless assertion.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 10:34 PM EDT

Protip: you're not going to win with ad hominem, Titan. I've taken years of logic classes in preparation for law school. I can tell when you're grasping at straws to find a base for your argument. Keep in mind that just because you believe something firmly does not make it true. ;)

QBRanger September 21 2011 10:34 PM EDT

Are you male?
White?
Straight?
Is your family not incredibly poor?
Are you able (not disabled)?
Are you religious?
Are you a sociable person?

I will take a shot at these OB.

Male-yes
Straight-yes
Family-lower middle class
disabled-I have a moderate disability, Tourette Syndrome
Religious-spiritual, not overly religious. Go to temple on the high holy days
Sociable-not really, having a disability does that to you.

Now, how does that matter? Yes, as I stated, there are kids and people that have little chance at a normal life. But there are successful people in all classes, races, ages, body styles, etc...

It is what you make of what you have. I would think that 90% or more of the population is not so lost as to have little shot at anything resembling a normal life. Especially in America with all the civil rights laws.

Ever hear of reverse discrimination? It does happen. Happened to me getting into medical school. Did I sue, no. I took a year off, worked to save money, reapplied and got in. Blamed nobody but myself for not having better grades.

We are moving so fast towards an entitlement society where people expect the government to give to them. Already we see the riots over entitlements in Europe. And we are heading right down that road.

Tax the rich? Really? And further stop small business growth.

Demigod September 21 2011 10:34 PM EDT

Damned straight religious. If you are religious in this country, specifically Christian, you are able to make bonds with other Christians as it is the predominant religion.

This is correct. When I worked in estate planning, it was an unofficial rule that you had to be a member of a church if you wanted to be successful. It's disgusting, but it's certainly effective. And when the recession made people unemployed, you can imagine where the social networking for jobs really took place.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 10:36 PM EDT

you have tourette's?

QBRanger September 21 2011 10:37 PM EDT

Damned straight religious. If you are religious in this country, specifically Christian, you are able to make bonds with other Christians as it is the predominant religion. You can request and receive support from your church and from the other members of your church. Don't forget, I was religious for a very long time. I know that there are advantages there.

Using religion as an example OB is just wrong. Religion is a choice people make. And religion can help people succeed. But it is their choice.

You must really think I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Grew up with anything I wanted. Had my parents pay my way through college. Went right into my dad's company and took it over then sold it.

That is so on the other side of reality.

Demigod September 21 2011 10:40 PM EDT

Ranger, you refer to your family life growing up as "lower middle class," and then you state that you father never made more than $60k in any year. The man's income probably peaked in the 70s, right? And he was presumably making almost $60k?

Where's the "lower middle class" part of that? In that era, he would have exceeded the median income by a large margin. Did he have seven kids?

http://visualizingeconomics.com/2008/05/04/average-income-in-the-united-states-1913-2006/

Demigod September 21 2011 10:41 PM EDT

That wasn't meant to read as snarky as it seemed.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 10:42 PM EDT

My dad made like 12k his first year of work in the 80s... and still only makes $18/hr... do I qualify for this middle class greatness? It's ridiculous to even discuss this because it only matters if you are super poor or super rich. Like super super.

QBRanger September 21 2011 10:42 PM EDT

His income peaked in the early 90's when he had his own Snap-On tool truck. He worked into his late 60s. Of course I was in medical school when he started making his windfall record profits.

Up to then he was a truck driver in NY garment center.

Sorry to spoil your "GOT YA" moment.

QBRanger September 21 2011 10:44 PM EDT

When I worked in estate planning, it was an unofficial rule that you had to be a member of a church if you wanted to be successful.

Where do you live? In the middle of Jesus road and Christ circle?

My estate planner is atheist and she is one of the most successful people I know.

Everyone I know gives 2 rats behinds about someone's religion and just cares if they are the best at what they do. Especially with something as important as estate planning.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 10:46 PM EDT

Yeah this thread should get back on topic so it gets less crazy...

Demigod September 21 2011 10:56 PM EDT

Where do you live? In the middle of Jesus road and Christ circle?

Ah, that's right. Religion only helps people in a negligibly small portion of the U.S. It's not like any of the major brokerage firms tell their agents all across America to look to their church members as personal network leads. Oh, wait...

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 10:58 PM EDT

there was plenty of crazy when it was on topic as well! ; )

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 11:00 PM EDT

there was plenty of crazy when it was on topic as well

C'est la CB

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:01 PM EDT

First off, thank you, Ranger, for actually taking a shot at having a reasonable discussion with me.

I will take a shot at these OB.

I'll go ahead and establish this: our economy is competitive. Anyone who is disadvantaged falls behind, and those who do not have that disadvantage are ahead. Thus, anyone not disadvantaged is advantaged. This is simply how life works.

Male-yes

This provides an advantage. You don't have to fight against gender role stereotypes, and in fact your maleness actually fits the stereotypes, making you a preferable choice for many occupations. Your salary is also likely to be higher, as women in the United States on average earn a salary that is 23% lower than men. Don't think gender stereotyping happens? Ask any man who is a stay-at-home parent if other men don't joke about it. It's a prime example of a gender based role.

Straight-yes

Just as in the case of gender stereotyping, this one is slowly changing to improve, but being straight is still an advantage. For instance, I know many male teachers who are gay and have to remain in the closet in order to keep their job. Alabama is one of many states that has fire-at-will laws, which means that an employer can fire you for any reason or no reason - and can even write down "gay" as a reasoning. Parents don't want their children to learn from a homo. Sad, but true. Another easy example is, up until lately, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule of the military.

Family-lower middle class
Not a disadvantage, which makes it an advantage. It simply isn't as great of an advantage as others. You were able to receive school loans and probably could receive little assistance from home; this is an advantage over others who basically have to support their families and cannot earn their education, and a disadvantage in comparison to those who can simply be put through college by their family.

disabled-I have a moderate disability, Tourette Syndrome
Would you agree that this is a disadvantage for you in some manner, which makes it something that others do not have to overcome and thus an advantage for them? This is certainly one case in which your circumstance did not benefit you.

Religious-spiritual, not overly religious. Go to temple on the high holy days
Same here, I'm not overly religious; I adapt Christianity's moral principles, those that I do not find silly, to my own moral code. Sometimes I visit church, as my family -is- religious. There are connections to be made there, relationships are established, and these are advantageous. Being associated with a religious organization offers benefits as well - you can even likely count on assistance from your religious friends, who will probably be charitable if needed, and you can technically count that into your personal net worth. It's wealth-if-needed, emergency funds that we don't like to think we have available because we don't want to count on them, but they exist nonetheless. Family falls under this.

Sociable-not really, having a disability does that to you.
I don't even have to address this, really. You know the disadvantage this offers, and as a rather charismatic person, I recognize the advantage I have here. This is another place where you did not receive an advantage over others.

Now, how does that matter? Yes, as I stated, there are kids and people that have little chance at a normal life. But there are successful people in all classes, races, ages, body styles, etc...

Agreed! Many people reach the pinnacle of their available situation, whether that means they become an unlikely doctor, or if they manage to get that particularly well-paying janitorial position at a good institute. Regardless, they are restricted to their circumstance, unless someone else outside and above it chooses to involve themselves and improve it.

It is what you make of what you have. I would think that 90% or more of the population is not so lost as to have little shot at anything resembling a normal life. Especially in America with all the civil rights laws.

I agree, life is what you make of it, for most at least. For some their situation is so bleak that even this note of positivity offers little hope, but they are not the focus. I agree that most have a shot at something resembling a normal life, but how many have a shot at the success you've achieved? I'd guess that's closer to 20%.

Ever hear of reverse discrimination? It does happen. Happened to me getting into medical school. Did I sue, no. I took a year off, worked to save money, reapplied and got in. Blamed nobody but myself for not having better grades.

I've heard of it, I'm well aware of it, and I've been involved in it. I recognize that my advantages, however, as a straight white male from an unpoor family far outweight that disadvantage.

We are moving so fast towards an entitlement society where people expect the government to give to them. Already we see the riots over entitlements in Europe. And we are heading right down that road.

You are moving too far, too fast; all we are discussing here is that it's never just your hard work, but your circumstances, and your luck in the genetic lottery.

Tax the rich? Really? And further stop small business growth.

Consider this, because it is extremely common and I work with these people all the time:

Type 1: At $20,000 a year, this person could be living at the edge of their ability, just barely getting by. Let's say they're working two minimum wage jobs, 'busting their arse' just as you have, and what time they have to themselves they spend taking care of their family. A minor car accident, which is an inconvenience for most, puts them into financial jeopardy.

Type 2: At $300,000 a year, this person is not living at the edge of their means. They have adjusted to their quality of life, and their bills use up a large portion of their monetary gains - but they attended seven years of college, four bachelor years and three years of law school, and then climbed their way up the corporate ladder to their current position.

If taxes are flat rate for everyone - hell, we'll say 20%. Twenty percent of their income is taken by the government to support government infrastructure, education, military, and whatnot. Government expenses, the ones that provide things for us that we all rely on.

That's $4,000 lost for the poor woman. That $4,000, while not a huge loss for Type 2, is enormous for Type 1 and she has to carefully budget her food costs - the first place people cut spending from when they are financially endangered, btw - to ensure that she can keep feeding her family. She's also going to have to work more overtime at her two minimum wage jobs and spend less time with her family.

For Type 2, he's giving away $60,000 a year now to the government. That's a lot of money! But it leaves him $240,000 a year - and quite frankly, if that woman can learn to live with $16,000 a year at her tax rate, he can make the minor adjustments to his quality of life necessary to live at $240,000. He'll still be living just fine.

Now let's say that taxes are adjusted so that Type 1pays 5%, and Type 2 pays 25%.

Now she only has to pay in $1,000 in taxes - a HUGE financial burden lifted from her shoulders. That thousand dollars is VASTLY more significant to her than most people.

Type 2, on the other hand, now pays $75,000 in taxes. Holy cow! He's only making....$225,000 a year! He's lost $15,000 of income, but...well, let's face it, he's still living very comfortably. He can still maintain a very high standard of living, and his minor loss enables the woman to breathe much easier, even if he never sees the effects of his sacrifice.

Not only that, but the taxes that the government made from the two? Under the flat rate, they made $64,000. Under the scaled rate, they made $76,000.

Do you see the reasoning, Ranger?

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:03 PM EDT

Wow, looks like I should have typed faster. The discussion took off by like a dozen posts in the time it took me to type up that wall...ah well, perhaps reading it will help explain my viewpoint.

QBRanger September 21 2011 11:06 PM EDT

Ok Demi, you brought it up.

You specifically stated:

When I worked in estate planning, it was an unofficial rule that you had to be a member of a church if you wanted to be successful.

By your statement I had to assume you lived in a very religious part of the country.

Where I live, religion is not that important. Your ability is.

Then you state:

Religion only helps people in a negligibly small portion of the U.S. It's not like any of the major brokerage firms tell their agents all across America to look to their church members as personal network leads.

I agree. Just as being in a Frat can open doors down the road. Do we then hate or envy frat boys? Or being a poker player can help you meet people and open opportunities. Like it has done for me lately.

Of course people use religious affiliations to help in networking. That is what networking is in the real world. Using commonalities to meet new people with similar interests. In the hope you can eventually do business with them. I fail to understand why this is a bad thing.

Your first statement made it seem like you could not succeed due to your not being in the "religion inner circle" of estate planners.

Which is poppycock. It helps but it is not the most important thing. Unless you live around Jesus road and Christ circle, USA.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:07 PM EDT

Everyone I know gives 2 rats behinds about someone's religion and just cares if they are the best at what they do. Especially with something as important as estate planning.

I find it unlikely that nobody you know uses religion as a means of social net-working unless they are all slightly retarded. You take the advantages you have available to you.

My dad made like 12k his first year of work in the 80s... and still only makes $18/hr... do I qualify for this middle class greatness? It's ridiculous to even discuss this because it only matters if you are super poor or super rich. Like super super.

You're missing it, though. There is a middle class, and it does have an advantage over the poor class, even if it is also disadvantaged to the white collar.

Using religion as an example OB is just wrong. Religion is a choice people make. And religion can help people succeed. But it is their choice.

On the contrary, it is only a choice to a certain degree. I cannot choose to be Christian, despite really wanting to in order to please my family, because I find myself without the faith or belief necessary. I do not think the Christian God, if he existed, would want someone to join up with the church and represent his followers if he couldn't even convince himself in the existence of his own deity.

You must really think I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Grew up with anything I wanted. Had my parents pay my way through college. Went right into my dad's company and took it over then sold it.

Believe it or not, there is a non-extremist form of thinking. I try to stick to it as much as possible.

That is so on the other side of reality.

Which is why it isn't the case.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 11:09 PM EDT

I find it unlikely that nobody you know uses religion as a means of social net-working unless they are all slightly retarded. You take the advantages you have available to you.

Everybody uses everything for social networking, as they should. I know people who use being an atheist for it as well.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:10 PM EDT

I agree. Just as being in a Frat can open doors down the road. Do we then hate or envy frat boys? Or being a poker player can help you meet people and open opportunities. Like it has done for me lately.

Not everyone gets accepted into a fraternity, or qualifies; we shouldn't necessarily hate or envy them, but it is certainly a circumstantial advantage that one cannot necessarily help having or not having.

Of course people use religious affiliations to help in networking. That is what networking is in the real world. Using commonalities to meet new people with similar interests. In the hope you can eventually do business with them. I fail to understand why this is a bad thing.

Nobody said it is a bad thing. We're saying it is another example of circumstantial advantages available to you that may not be available to others, which means that maybe - just maybe - all of our achievements in life aren't due solely to GOSH DURN HARD WORKIN'. Maybe life isn't completely and perfectly fair, and maybe being born with neither a silver spoon nor a broken leg is better than being born with a broken leg.

Your first statement made it seem like you could not succeed due to your not being in the "religion inner circle" of estate planners. Which is poppycock. It helps but it is not the most important thing. Unless you live around Jesus road and Christ circle, USA.

Just to be sure, you don't know how poppycock it is, and you also admit that it helps. It's an advantage. Thank you for agreeing.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 11:14 PM EDT

Maybe life isn't completely and perfectly fair, and maybe being born with neither a silver spoon nor a broken leg is better than being born with a broken leg.

Nobody here thinks that life is completely fair. 5% of people are born with wood spoons. 5% with silver. With rest of us, we got all different qualities of iron. So, while we may have a slight advantage over others, is not what you got, it's how you use what you got.

QBRanger September 21 2011 11:14 PM EDT

OB,

I think we agree mostly on the advantages and disadvantages people can have. But I think we may disagree on how far one can fight up the chain to become successful. I see unlimited potential for most people. There are people far better off then I was/am and are far less successful and vica versa.

As to your tax analogy. Please read the Fair and Flat tax portions of the wiki with the corresponding parts on FCA and Deductions respectively.

In your example the woman making 20k would likely pay 0 or minimal tax.

The person making 300k a year would pay about 17-20% via either plan, most likely.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 11:15 PM EDT

ob & titan, how old are you guys again?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 11:16 PM EDT

20

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:17 PM EDT

Just went to read it...

With the rebate taken into consideration, the FairTax would be progressive on consumption,[3] but would also be regressive on income at higher income levels (as consumption falls as a percentage of income).

As stated by the wikipedia article.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:17 PM EDT

Only 25, dudemus :)

Demigod September 21 2011 11:17 PM EDT

Of course people use religious affiliations to help in networking. ... I fail to understand why this is a bad thing.

I never said it's a bad thing. It's an advantage that some have others -- a positive for that person. The point I made was that it's simply an advantage some are lucky to have. There's no rule saying an open atheist can't be successful as a public figure in the Alabama or that a Muslim can't be one in rural Texas. But let's face it, religion certainly does fit into OB's list.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 11:19 PM EDT

What about atheism in NE collegiate settings demi?

QBRanger September 21 2011 11:21 PM EDT

OB,

You forgot this point:

Opponents argue this would accordingly decrease the tax burden on high income earners and increase it on the middle class.[5][9] Supporters contend that the plan would decrease tax burdens by broadening the tax base, effectively taxing wealth, and increasing purchasing power.[10][11] The plan's supporters believe that a consumption tax would have a positive effect on savings and investment, that it would ease tax compliance, and that the tax would result in increased economic growth, incentives for international business to locate in the U.S., and increased U.S. competitiveness in international trade.

I, of course, am a supporter.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:22 PM EDT

Fair enough, being obviously biased in regard to the rate changes I picked out the part I considered to be most important ;) I realize that you would fall under the "supporter contentions " section.

QBRanger September 21 2011 11:22 PM EDT

In some places in America, being overly religious is a negative. You are thought of as a zealot or freak. Being an atheist is the in crowd.

College campus anyone? San Francisco?

Demigod September 21 2011 11:24 PM EDT

What about atheism in NE collegiate settings demi?

Then the impact is lessened, but my point still holds true. Just as if a Muslim is in a Muslim-friendly area.

QBOddBird September 21 2011 11:24 PM EDT

In some places in America, being overly religious is a negative. You are thought of as a zealot or freak. Being an atheist is the in crowd.

Being overly pretty much anything is a negative. People tend to grab a position and run as far in that direction as they can without paying mind to reality; this applies just as much to religion as to politics.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 21 2011 11:24 PM EDT

College campus anyone?

What I just said, NE collegiate, so atheist.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 21 2011 11:27 PM EDT

ranger, i have been in favor of a flat tax for about 20 years now. i think it needs to be a sales tax so that people buying porsches pay more than those buying kias.

i don't offer that as a solution to our current woes though as it has a snowball's chance in hell of becoming a reality.

i think it is more realistic to, as you say, close off some loopholes but i also think raising the capital gains tax is imperative and then of course spending reductions go without saying.

i disagree that it will curtail investment. for all the evidence i see stating this is the case, i see other evidence that refutes that standpoint. i also fail to see how risk should be used to determine tax percentages. the reward vs. risk analysis will naturally take into account the current tax rate and people will have to decide if it is worth it.

i see no real alternatives to the kind of money made, and lost, through venture capital deals. a good investor will minimize the risk by spreading it out. the chance for gain will likely outweigh what they could make by other investment means and that is really all that matters.

it is kinda like saying that if you come to me to invest and i say, "i can make you 12 million on a 5m investment over 3 years, but last week before the capital gains tax i could have made you 15m!" are you really gonna say, to hell with that, i am going certificate of deposits!

this brings up the old joke that i always say reminds me of my dad. a guy goes to cash in a winning lottery ticket. he says gimme my five million. the lottery commission explains to him that actually they pay out 150k amount each month for many years instead of the five million all at once. the guy gets angry, throws down his lottery ticket and says, "just give me my damn dollar back then!"

Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] September 21 2011 11:43 PM EDT

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
You sir need to fork over a few more freedom ducats to take a intermediate trolling class. Here's one from Cliff Notes....
Turn it around. Without the factory owners, nobody would have a job and everyone would be poor.
You are right. Those kids in China need to chip in as well! Lazy commie whiners sucking blood from those fair and true entrepreneurs. Who never stop looking out for the working man!

Ranger, stop investing in bold political/theoretical/idealogical practices to support what you feel is entitled to you personally. You aren't dumb so you've picked up that your "opponents" in these matters are hoping you spot the flaws in your proposals. Not digging the Dr.Phil dry hole again don't worry about that so I'll say what needs to be said right now.
A few more steps of compromise would do your positions a lot of good in these exchanges. You are also quick to take polarized shots at Obama, Libs, Dems, and others which corrodes any mature discussion. Try not to name and blame so much. The title of this thread didn't do any favors.
Titan, three years ago you puzzled me with morally ambiguous statements and that has not changed. =/ You scare me.

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 12:05 AM EDT

Question, mainly for Titan and Ranger, as far as I can tell.

Say you have two people.

They both "worked their backside off". Doesn't matter the details. They both worked/risked/etc the exact same. That's part of the hypothetical, so no use disputing it. Exact same.

All in the same locale, nation, standard of living.

One person ends up making 60K a year, the other makes 40K.

Why? If the system is how you say: hard work = success, then how does the above scenario exist? If it exists even once, then the "pat" nature of how you describe reality isn't fact.

I suppose you could argue that the above scenario doesn't ever happen, but I think that would just show you are out of touch.

How do I know all this? Because I don't work that hard. And I'm a lot better off than a lot of people I perceive to be working a lot harder. Doing more with what they have. Do you guys really not know anyone like that? y the sound if it, you don't, so I'm not sure what to make of that. I'm generally not very interested in others (I am extremely introverted), and I see what I am referring to a lot. You don't?

One more question for Ranger about all this risk... If I have, say, 5 billion dollars, family money, and I have to choose what to invest in, where's the risk there? Am I going to starve if my investment doesn't succeed? Is my family going to suffer? Or think about risk for, say, Disney. What is their "risk" in the money they continue to reap from Mickey Mouse? They had one idea, way back in the 1930s, and they still get money from that. Where was the risk there?

As far as the billionaire investing, I am sure you will respond with something along the lines of every single dollar being a risk, because it was his cash to start with, dammit! But that's begging the question. It was his to start with, so all the risk is his, and then since he risked, it is all his. Both sides of that chicken/egg conundrum are specious. He might have the money from not working at all, and therefore there is no real risk. Is there?

To put it another way, the super-rich have opportunities and the ability to overcome barriers to entry that no one else can. Because they already have the money. In fact, they have so much money that the word "risk" is meaningless to them.

So why do you keep using it? It is apparent even YOU don't know what it means, truly. You stated way up that you could invest your money in a business that should work. That means profit. Profit is based on the business, not the administration. So, either the model is good to go, or it isn't. But because it isn't ENOUGH profit, and because you fear an administration, you don't invest. That makes zero sense. Don't you want to make money? You're taking your toys and going home because you aren't going to make ENOUGH money? So say the Reps get in, big, for the next 4-8 years. And you invest. What are you going to do if and when it shifts back to a less hospitable administration? De-invest? Take your money and go home? That is the most short-sighted, anti-true-Capitalist clap-trap I think I've ever heard.

And as far as property taxes, you're being a little disingenuous there property taxes are self-consistent. If your property is worth more, you pay more. Yeah, the police are the same, but they are protecting a MORE EXPENSIVE property. Of course you are getting your money's worth. For goodness sake, don't play the tax-martyr card when it comes to property taxes. If they are high they are high for everyone in the same proportion to property valuation -- the exact "flat tax" you keep talking about. Property taxes are not progressive, at least not where I live nor anywhere I have lived. And besides, you're Mr. Choice. If you don;t like property taxes, move to somewhere they are lower, just like someone not wanting fluoride in their water can just go dig a well, remember?

QBRanger September 23 2011 7:05 AM EDT

Whoa slow down there Sut.

I will get to the first parts of your post later, but as far as property taxes, I am responding to those who stated, including Professor Warren, that I am using public roads and public services that others paid for.

I pay property taxes. My house is worth more than others, but I get the same protection. I pay more towards public schools but my kids would get the same education as someone who pays less.

I was just responding to Professor Warren's pontification about how I must give back due to the "social contract" of society.

I never stated I was or planned to be a martyr on property taxes. Sorry if it did not come across that way.

QBRanger September 23 2011 7:33 AM EDT

And I complete agree with the concept and application of the current property tax system. Why? It is a flat tax. Not a progressive tax.

Those who use more utilities such as police, roads etc... should pay more. But in a flat not progressive fashion.

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 9:08 AM EDT

Plenty of "mea culpa" for me there, too, Ranger -- sorry I didn't read everything carefully enough to catch that. Sounds like we are in agreement on property taxes. When it comes to tax policy, property taxes make more sense to me (at least in theory), because they are more local and more "choice" based. That is, assuming someone always has the choice on where they live and wherewithal to get there -- I do not believe that is always the case (as my other comments bear out -- I do not believe everything is "fair" in terms of opportunity, a big reason for my difference in overall philosophy).

The other less-savory side of property taxes is the whole "valuation" thing, where real estate craziness can make property values go up up up even when there is no tangible value added there. I see that as creating an upward spiral which can often lead to bubbles. Home owners have recently lost 30-40% of home value in some markets (as far as saleability), maybe more, yet property taxes rarely decrease concomitantly. And if they do, then begins the scramble by schools, etc. who have become accustomed to the higher revenue.

AdminNightStrike September 23 2011 10:01 AM EDT

I pay property taxes. My house is worth more than others, but I get the same protection. I pay more towards public schools but my kids would get the same education as someone who pays less.

I lived in a town with ~80k people. In that town, there is a distribution of wealth. We have a range between upper-middle and lower-middle class. There are a lot of schools... I think around 17.. 2 high, 3 middle, and a slew of grade. There is a DEFINITE difference in quality of the schools, and the town happens to value property higher in sections with better schools (resulting in more or less tax for the same exact property, depending) because of course, the school you go to is determined by the location of your house and proximity to the school.

(About a decade ago, people on the poorer side finally rallied enough support for "open enrollment", where any kid can go to any school... but to date, only 18 students over ten years have taken advantage of this)

Crime is lesser in the more expensive areas, and the police/fire respond MUCH faster (The 911 calls I used to place while my father was dying had a <30 second response time; fire, police, and parameds always come).

Trash pickup is the same everywhere, but the more expensive areas get their streets cleaned, and get yard waste removed faster. They also get more frequent leaf collections (this is where you put all of your leaves in giant ten foot high piles on the curb, and big front end loaders pick them up) in the fall.

I guess what I'm saying is that I really don't see the services that we received being disconnected from the tax we paid. Life was better in the better areas and worse in the worse, and you paid accordingly. Schooling was a *HUGE* issue in that (partially because our town had an absolutely gross school bill... Something close to 200m), because the funds were not equally distributed, and the education between physical school buildings was QUITE disparate.

I don't think my personal experience is that unusual, especially in more urban environments. (My town was typical Edward Scissorhands type of suburban).

QBRanger September 23 2011 10:22 AM EDT

Where I live, there are trailer parks in the same school district and police/fire districts. They get the exact same service that I get.

In fact, when we lost power after Hurricaine Wilma, I was out of power for 9 days, while the adjacent trailer parts, within 2 miles of my house, had power after 2 days.

I guess it is all relative to your point of view and where you actually live.

QBRanger September 23 2011 10:24 AM EDT

Home owners have recently lost 30-40% of home value in some markets (as far as saleability), maybe more, yet property taxes rarely decrease concomitantly

I do not know how things are in Wisconsin, but here in Florida I get 1-2 letter from lawyers saying they can readjust the value of my home for property tax purposes.

Quite a few homes where I have have been readjusted to lower their property tax.

The kicker is that the government will not do it on their own. They will upwards adjust for more taxes but almost never downward adjust. You personally have to be aggressive to get a downwards adjustment.

QBRanger September 23 2011 10:30 AM EDT

About your first part of the post about people doing their best.

I can only say we in America should have a system that always everyone or most everyone to start in the same place. But where they finish is based upon them and the actions they take.

My dad, as I stated, never made more than 60k a year. But he was very happy to have a family and have what he wanted in life. A home, food on the table and kids who loved him. He never ever was envious of those with more.

If you have 5 Billion dollars and invest, you still are taking risk. Why does it matter if it is the first dollar you have or the 5 Billionth? Your money is still being risked. And due to that risk, your capital gains tax should be less than simple income tax that is guaranteed income.

You do bring another thing into the equation which has to be discussed alone. The estate tax. I, unlike a lot of my right wing collegues, do believe in an estate tax, but not the 50+% that those on the other side of the aisle do. I would like to see a 10M exemption and a 25% tax on all over that. Still, even family money has had to be earned at one point, been already taxed at one point.

If it goes to be risked, it should have a CG tax.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 5:34 PM EDT

If it goes to be risked, it should have a CG tax.

this made me wonder, do you think that the money used to invest is taxed as capital gains?

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 5:50 PM EDT

The kicker is that the government will not do it on their own. They will upwards adjust for more taxes but almost never downward adjust. You personally have to be aggressive to get a downwards adjustment.

Hm, good point. My valuation did go down last year, and since I'm not planning on selling until I die, not a big deal. But you are right, and I will keep this in mind.

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 5:55 PM EDT

I can only say we in America should have a system that always everyone or most everyone to start in the same place. But where they finish is based upon them and the actions they take.

I am not sure what this means. We should have a system that starts things off the same and has totally equal opportunity. I agree. But we don't. That's why I asked my question. So, where they finish AFTER EQUAL WORK is not always the same. That's sort of my whole point for folks who have "worth" discussions about wealth. It is also why something like Titan being "disgusted" by people who would even dare question "what's mine is mine" surprises me. It's not disgusting, it's just a different viewpoint based on what I mention above.

If you have 5 Billion dollars and invest, you still are taking risk. Why does it matter if it is the first dollar you have or the 5 Billionth? Your money is still being risked. And due to that risk, your capital gains tax should be less than simple income tax that is guaranteed income.

It matters because if you have plenty of money, even if you lost 80% of it, that is not the same risk as a smaller endeavor where if the business goes up you lose the ability to survive. And you didn't answer the part about Disney. Continuing to make money for 120 years off one idea -- not much risk there, either.

The risk I am talking about is _personal_ risk, not just the statistical idea of risk or debt aversion, in case I wasn't making that clear.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003Dzb">More on the Buffet rule and fair share of taxes.</a>