Income in America, by the numbers

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by mcbrett, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  2. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  3. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  4. Ag with kids

    Ag with kids 2,500+ Posts

  5. BrothaHorn

    BrothaHorn 1,000+ Posts

    Since the progressives love to play the percentages game, lets take a look at the latest CBO report on effective federal tax rates.



    In other words:

  6. Roger

    Roger 1,000+ Posts

  7. BrntOrngStmpeDe

    BrntOrngStmpeDe 1,000+ Posts

    I don't fail to see 'how much and how many taxes we pay on the money we earn during our lifetime'. I got it. I'm not saying we should pay more taxes. I'm saying that paying inheritance taxes is a better place (in the lifecycle of taxes) than most of the other places we get taxed.

    BTW, the idea that you made it all by your lonesome is complete nonsense. You completely discount the fact that you couldn't have made your millions without a country and societay like ours. That civil society(laws, infrastructure etc) requires funding to get there. If you make a fortune in todays world, you made it by virtue of your own efforts but you also made it because you live in a place that has laws to protect your right to make money, laws to keep someone with a gun from taking it all away tomorrow, laws to keep other people from taking your idea on day two and running with it. You made that fortune because we have a stout military that is capable of securing 'our interests' overseas. You made that money because we have a public education system that provided you with more than trained monkeys to build your business. You made that money- in short- because we have built a country that values individual effort, ingenuity and results. As fabulous as you are, you aren't a self-made man. You are always standing on the shoulders of hundreds of thousands who have contributed to this country before you.
    While the government is not 'our country' per se, it is certainly the glue that ties it all together.

    Is it bloated?? sure. self-perpetuating?? yep.

    But it also NECESSARY. And it must be funded. It is not a choice of whether or not we fund it, but how.
  8. msdw24

    msdw24 1,000+ Posts

    I will never understand the line of thinking or the thought process that goes into it that somehow I owe what I've worked so hard for in my life to the gvt upon my passing. That is ludicrous. I'm glad that you are in the minority in this country, though your line of thinking is corrupting our way of American exceptionalisim.
  9. charloscarlies

    charloscarlies 250+ Posts

  10. AggieFactFinder

    AggieFactFinder 250+ Posts

    Stampede, I appreciate you trying to defend your position and at least explain it.

    But it's insane. The idea that we just rent our assets from the government (other than whatever arbitrary number YOU think is enough for others' kids to have) until we die is a scary way of thinking. I had a much longer response typed out, but deleted most of it, because there is no convincing you.

    Hey rich guy, we don't live in a banana republic! And for that, you owe everything over $750K at your death. Let's ignore the fact that you paid more in taxes than just about everyone else along the way, and almost certainly gave more to charity. Do they get any credit for that? Do they get credit for funding the public schools that your kids go to but theirs don't? I doubt it as far as you're concerned; or at least not enough to keep you from taking it all at their deaths. I wouldn't dream of taking credit for someone else's success (other than my kids) 20 or 100 years from now. That rich man or woman doesn't owe my descendants his/her estate because I lived.

    And the oligarchy thing is so ridiculous. Drugs, alcohol, divorce, spendthrifts, family infighting, current-level estate taxes, etc. make it VERY hard for a family to remain relevant for several generations. A few do, but so what? And it's funny that you mention the Kennedys, because I doubt there is a more public-service oriented family in the country. They pretty much torpedo your vision of all rich kids sitting around doing nothing. And I say this despite hating their politics.
  11. charloscarlies

    charloscarlies 250+ Posts

  12. msdw24

    msdw24 1,000+ Posts

  13. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  14. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  15. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  16. zzzz

    zzzz 2,500+ Posts

    It's no surprise at all that income disparity here is looking more and more like Latin America.

    Income disparity should be expected to grow when the rich are taxed less and unskilled labor is imported by the millions. Especially when many jobs have been eliminated by technology or off-shoring.

    Roll back the tax rates to the early 80s and 90s and what do the charts look like?

    Roll them back to the tax rates of the early 80s and 90s and subtract the number of undocumented immigrants and their children and what do they look like?
  17. buckhorn

    buckhorn 1,000+ Posts

    Alot going on in this thread. Pretty cool.

    I think the inheritance thing is quite interesting. It gets at the issue of individual property rights versus community interests.

    I suppose one could simply hail individual property rights as unassailable, inalienable, and without nuance. Once the money is mine that is all there is to be said about it.

    If one tries to buttress that with talk about hard work it sounds as if the hard work in some way sanctions or justifies the right to then do whatever you want with your money, including leaving it to a non-productive heir. However, if the heir does not work hard or produce, should they be able to then pass most or even any of the money on to the third generation?

    On the other hand, if you decide that at some point inheritance money should be heavily taxed, why should it go to the government? What is government's role? How much does it add? What do we the private people derive from the public? Etc.

    Maybe people who inherit money beyond a certain amount that will allow comfortable living should be forced to put their money in play or face punitive taxation. If they are good at it they make a fortune. If not, the smart money takes their place. They are not allowed to hide from the putative meritocracy that so many wish to use when holding less privileged people accountable.

    Maybe we as a nation need to make a general accounting of what is public and private. What is the system and who benefits and how much? In what ways do the private titans ride the public teat and in what ways do the public coffers survive because of individual sweat and ingenuity?

    The public is made up of private individuals. They own the public edifice just as the private sector private people do. If the private titan does derive great benefits of this sort and that from the public edifice and the sweat and ingenuity of its many individuals, then are their taxes not just a different sort of investment? Or is it simply an antagonistic relationship because any interference with private property rights or individual ideals and ideas is destructive? Is it simply redistribution for the sake of leveling, or is their a broader structure that we all share in, in fact need to share in, that is supported by attending to concerns other than the cult of the individual and bald, rampant private property leeway?
  18. TaylorTRoom

    TaylorTRoom 1,000+ Posts

    A couple of thoughts-

    1. I see wealth and income confused a lot here, and consumption barely mentioned at all. When you say "rich people", you mean people with a lot of wealth. That's not the same necessarily as "high income". And high earners aren't necessarily wealthy (see athletes and entertainers). These distinctions matter with policy.

    2. "The rich should pay more because they can" is a euphemsm for "The rich should pay more because the state can take it from them". There is no virtue at all, not a drop, in taking away resources from somebody else so you can do good with them. That is pure selfishness and vanity. There is only virtue in voluntarily surrendering your resources for he betterment of others.
  19. Ag with kids

    Ag with kids 2,500+ Posts

  20. Roger

    Roger 1,000+ Posts

  21. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  22. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  23. BrntOrngStmpeDe

    BrntOrngStmpeDe 1,000+ Posts

    So here's what I see as my underlying premise:
    1. Govt must exist-without a sound, legitimate govt that respects individual rights, no individual will prosper
    2. Govt has been the source for most large infrastructure projects. W/o our govt we don't have ubiquitous telcom, roads, ports, airports and all their derivatives
    3. This has a cost and therefore govt must be funded
    4. Where/When should this funding come from?
    a. everyone pay an equal share, never work. The dollar amount to be 'equal' would mean that every worker pays upwards of 20K[3.55 tril budget/154 mil workers]
    . around 45% of the workforce makes 25K or less.

    Even if you believe (as I do) that government can/should shrink. What's realistic for that goal? 15-20%. That still leaves an average of around 18K. Still not doable.

    More wealthy corporations/individuals, must pay more than an $equal share or there is no govt, no infrastructure. That is rougly equivalent to India.
    Democracy ---Check
    Infrastructure-- virtually non-existant
    And where does India rank in your "places I want to be like" list?

    My conclusion, govt can/does provide necessary services and they must be predominantly paid for by the largest earners or the wealthiest members. IMO, if the wealthy didn't already realize they have a sweet deal, they would have picked up their toys and moved away a long time ago. Who has more mobility in this world than a big time Americnan CEO of XXX company?

    So, these very top earners that are always pushing for less to come out of their pockets must have a reason for staying put right here. It's because they know that the mix of infrastructure and talent is what keeps them raking it in. If they thought they could pick up stakes and readily replace this infrastructure and talent, they would have taken it all to Ireland a long time ago. After all, its all about the low taxes right?

    So govt must be funded predominately by the HiInc/HiEarn crowd. Then at what stage is that best done? During the earning years, when it takes away from their ability to reinvest or at the end (inheritance tax)?

    So if you feel that everyone should pay an equal share or that all taxes should be collected as a sales tax then you must also realize that we'll need to make sure that everyone makes at least 35K minimum in order to have enough salary to pay 18K a year in taxes and still put food on the table and pay the rent.

    So we need to go back to those very employers that are complaining about their share of the taxes and tell them that they need to pay their workers more so that they can afford the tax that the CEOs think that they should pay.

    So again, it is not whether the HI/HE crowd pays more than an equal share, it is a question of when/where/how.
  24. Ag with kids

    Ag with kids 2,500+ Posts

  25. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  26. theiioftx

    theiioftx Sponsor Deputy

    You really need a link for this? I guess CEO's in general are just lucky, lottery winners?
    The Link
  27. Ag with kids

    Ag with kids 2,500+ Posts

  28. hornpharmd

    hornpharmd 5,000+ Posts

  29. Satchel

    Satchel 2,500+ Posts

    How much different would our world be if the number of estate tax beneficiaries would be as concerned for middle class wage earners as so many middle class wage earners are concerned about them?
  30. Ag with kids

    Ag with kids 2,500+ Posts


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