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  •  Sometimes I feel we should have everyone pay $5 (5+ / 0-)

    The number still will never be 100%, but then we can force them into saying,"they aren't paying enough let's raise their taxes by insisting on $10 or more".

    I think that is a different and harder argument to make while you are at the same time cutting taxes at the top.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:44:12 PM PDT

    •  For far too many folks even 5 bucks is too much (26+ / 0-)

      In Wisconsin, we virtually have a flat tax.  Even if you earn a dollar, the state gets a cut.  It means that folks working and still living in poverty are even more poor.

      When you're poor, 5 bucks can make a difference.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:42:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  judge fairness of tax by how much is left over (24+ / 0-)

        We shouldn't care if some multibillionaire pays millions in taxes every year; he's got hundreds of millions more to live like a king on.  Meanwhile, someone who makes $20,000 and only pays a few thousand in tax is now below the poverty line after April 15.

        The amount paid may be smaller, and the percentage of income might be smaller, but while the multibillionaire could pay millions more and not have it affect his lifestyle, most people could really use a few extra grand a year.

        At the very least, if you and your family would be at or below the poverty line after tax day (and the poverty line is already lowballed) - never mind before - you shouldn't have to pay a penny.  At the very least, tax dividends and other "unearned income" at the same rate as wages and salaries.

        If it were up to me, we'd have 95% tax on all income above $250,000.  Soak the rich; what good do they do us?

        •  Exactly right (22+ / 0-)

          Having everyone pay at least $5 as the comment above me suggests, affects the poor far more.  Sales taxes, the same percentage paid by everyone, is the same in hitting the poor and middle class.  Why should we all pay the same tax?  It's regressive.

          Bottom line:  Wages are too low, the wealthy aren't paying their fair share of taxes, and the middle class is disappearing.  Our economic priorities should be focused on correcting that.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 03:26:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here in Tennessee we pay the highest (18+ / 0-)

            sales tax rates in the country. Yet nearly everyone is very proud of the fact that we have no state income tax, so much so that next year we get to vote on a constitutional amendment to officially ban any future income tax. And like every election here where so many vote against their own best interests, those burdened the most by the high sales tax will gleefully vote to keep it high.

            •  Same mentality in Texas (5+ / 0-)

              Sky high property taxes here as well as high sales tax but no gosh darned income tax.

            •  The 1% love it (7+ / 0-)

              Sales taxes and flat income taxes benefit them at the expense of those who can least afford it.  Yes, everywhere there are folks who vote against their own best interests and it's hard to cut through the bubble they live in with a dose of reality.

              There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

              by Puddytat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:17:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  IIRC, it's 8.25% across the board (0+ / 0-)

              on everything, groceries and non-grocery items alike.  While that makes things easier to calculate, it sure doesn't make them easier to afford.  (I lived in Tennessee for 8 years and don't miss that sales tax at all.)

              Meanwhile, some folks here in my adopted home state still insist on calling it "Taxachusetts" when, in fact, our tax burden is considerably less than it was when that epithet most applied (1977 was the worst year for MA).  I believe we're number 30 nationwide, and #5 among the New England states, with only NH's tax burden being lower (and artificially at that - they have neither sales tax nor income tax, yet you have to make it up somewhere, and their property taxes are punishing, as are the fees for services the state provides).  I know both New York State (lived there 7.5 years) and Maine to be worse than Massachusetts.  Our sales tax is 6.25% (used to be 5%, Gov. Patrick raised it, but that's actually helped us in the long run, especially where economic recovery is concerned), although it's definitely not across the board - certain grocery items are not taxed (e.g. dairy products), and clothing purchases up to $175 are not taxed, to name a couple of exceptions.

          •  ...the wealthy aren't paying their fair share... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw

            Let me ask you you something. How much do you think a person making $500k per year should pay in federal taxes?

            Please pretend that I don't give a shit.

            by Jim Riggs on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:58:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When I was young the rich paid 90% (18+ / 0-)

              Elvis Presley's manager joked that it was his job to keep Elvis in the 90% tax bracket.

              Well, they really didn't pay 90% because of deductions and loopholes galore, but that really was the tax rate and everyone at the high end paid much more than they do today.  And that produced great results.  Business owners invested money in their factories because of the tax rate and their businesses did better and better.

              That 90 % was too much, but it was the tax rate at the time this country was the greatest, the pinnacle of our success.  We were paying off the cost of WWII, building schools and great infrastructure, and building a massive interstate highway system.  We were funding science and developing an entire government entity to explore space.  Exciting times when the government has enough money to invest in their kids, their kids college education, and improvements to the country.

              I don't think that someone making $500 K should pay the same rate as a millionaire, who shouldn't pay the same rate as a multimillionaire who should pay more, who shouldn't pay the same rate as a billionaire who should also pay more.  

              At the same time I don't think the $500,000 guy should pay the same rate as someone making less than $100 K either.

              What's happened over the last 30 years is that the tax burden has shifted from corporations, business, and rich folks to workers and the lower middle class who have already been robbed of their pensions, benefits, and whose wages have stagnated.  It happened slowly, like the frog slowly cooked in gradually heating water, but people are noticing and they're pissed.  

              Parents in my day wondered how high their kids would rise.  Todays parents worry their kids will sink into poverty.  And a lot of our troubles came from making the rich and corporate pay less and less in taxes.  Instead of investing in their businesses or in start ups, they invested in Swiss Bank accounts and the Cayman Islands and the greed for more just grew.

              There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

              by Puddytat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:32:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, what's your answer? (0+ / 0-)

                Please pretend that I don't give a shit.

                by Jim Riggs on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:34:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My answer is above (0+ / 0-)

                  Please take time to read it.  Yeah, I know it's long.

                  There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                  by Puddytat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:45:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I did read it Puddy. (0+ / 0-)

                    Less than someone making a million but more than someone making 100k. That's obvious. And 95% of the time I think that's reality.

                    But what do you think is fair? If I told you that I made 500k last year and paid 142k federal and 38k state, would you say that's fair?

                    Please pretend that I don't give a shit.

                    by Jim Riggs on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:10:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you paid that much it seems fair (0+ / 0-)

                      Millionaires and billionaires (plus corporations) need to pay more.  Currently you're in the same tax bracket they're in and that's unfair.  If they paid more we'd solve our budget deficit and national debt quickly (also reducing what we're spending for privatized government services and the Pentagon/NSA).

                      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                      by Puddytat on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:19:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  That was on INCREMENTAL income. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Puddytat

                In the 1950's, there were 7 to 9 brackets (I do not have the actual figures for reference, but this is only an example), just as there are 3 today, based on the NEXT so many dollars of income.  Thus, no tax on the first X dollars; a low rate on the next XX dollars; a higher rate on the next XXX dollars; and so on, until (if the top bracket is, for example, a million) 90 percent of every million AFTER the first million, NOT 90 percent of total taxable income.

                But despite the top level managers in a corporation making only 40-50 times as much as their lowest paid workers, they were VERY prosperous because they were able to SELL much more to America's average workers than they are today.  Today, the top level earners make about 500 to 600 TIMES as much as the minimum wage, but there is less spendable money (adjusted for inflation) to support our businesses than in the 1950's.

                •  Exactly right (0+ / 0-)

                  And business owners invested in expanding and improving their business because of the high tax rate they would face.  Business boomed.

                  There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                  by Puddytat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:10:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  $600,000 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Puddytat, Jim Riggs

              The Fierce Urgency of Later

              by Faroutman on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:35:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Still, (0+ / 0-)

            the poor should feel invested in the way that taxes are raised and spent. If they even had to send in a ceremonial dollar, they would be participating in government. The way things are now, those who do not pay taxes are made to feel marginalised and don't bother to participate in government because it has nothing to do with them.
            That's my take, but consultation with the people concerned through studies and interviews might be helpful. A lot of us speak for the poor. I haven't been in that position for forty years, but even as a part time worker on minimum wage, I paid a small amount of taxes back in the day and was vitally interested on whether they were being used for Headstart or military adventures. I'm not sure what people would think now, and would be interested to learn.

            “The universe implodes. No matter.” -Liam Williams

            by northsylvania on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:37:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But they *are* (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wintergreen8694, Puddytat, Ahianne

              already paying taxes. Please refer to that pie chart up top. And the vast majority of the 10% who are not paying income or payroll taxes are the elderly, who paid plenty of both during their working lives, and are still paying whatever sales tax, property tax and utility taxes are in effect where they live.

              Even someone who's homeless and survives by begging pays tax every time they scrape together enough money to buy a meal.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:02:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Most people consider (0+ / 0-)

                payroll taxes as their own investment in Social Security, though it isn't. Sales taxes are generally publicised as being local taxes, which support the police, fire department, libraries, etc. People have become convinced that there is no such thing as country-wide general welfare. Even the interstates are maintained on a state by state basis. To many, the U.S. government takes from those who produce income and give to those who don't, or at the most that it is spent on the military. Problem is the general perception is that welfare takes more money than the military, which isn't even close. If it were, the country would actually be better off all across the income strata.

                “The universe implodes. No matter.” -Liam Williams

                by northsylvania on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:22:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Sales taxes are regressive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat

            because non-rich people spend almost all of their income, much of it on sales-taxable items (some states exempt groceries and medicines, but some do not), while rich people spend (on personal consumption) very little of their income.  So 6 percent of 18,000 spent out of 10,000 net income is 108, which is 10 percent of income, while 6 percent of 1.8 million out of 100 million is 10,800, which is only 0.1 percent of income.

            Some years ago Florida tried to make services taxable, but it was opposed by newspapers (because subscribing to a paper is a service, while a paper bought from a newsstand or rack is a product), and it was repealed in less than a year.  The supporters had a good argument for it, however: that it would be LESS regressive than taxing only products.  For example, rich families hire a lawn service, while poor families buy a lawnmower and gasoline and cut the grass for themselves.  So taxing the bill from the lawn service would collect more from the rich customer.

        •  People earning below $20k are probably eligible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Ahianne

          for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

          •  Many are. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, RunawayRose

            Not everyone, though. I make less than $20K per year, and I haven't qualified for at least the last couple of years.

            Oh, and I pay income tax, federal, state, and city. Federal income tax withholding runs around 8%; I get about half of it back as a refund. So I'm paying at a low rate, but that's not the same as not paying.

            Cogito, ergo Democrata.

            by Ahianne on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:00:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If they have a child (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra77, Puddytat, Ahianne

            for nonparent, income has to be less than $13,980 for a single or $19,190 for a married couple filing jointly. (2012 levels) And the maximum credit for nonparents is only $475.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:11:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Re: earned income tax credit (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, Ahianne

            No, not if they are single.  You have to make much less than $20K.  It's folks with kids who do well with the Earned Income Tax Credit.
            A self employed single person making 20K pays 15.3% for ss and medicare plus close to a grand in income tax.

            I belong to the Honey Badger Wing of the Democratic Party. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Have you seen our videos?

            by Cassandra77 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:22:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Which the GOP wants to gut! (0+ / 0-)

            or eliminate, even though it was proposed to Congress by a Republican President, Richard Nixon (the preliminary grass roots proposal called it "negative income tax" and promoted it as the most cost-effective way to help the poor, since it would be based on hard numbers from each worker's W-2, and sent out by the IRS without having to pay caseworkers; with some tweaking, the idea was renamed EARNED Income Tax Credit and passed).

      •  Yep. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra77, Puddytat, Ahianne

        A flat tax would be fine, if everybody already had a flat income.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:55:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've been that poor (thankfully many years (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        ago) and $5.00 could seem like bountiful riches when you're hungry.

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

        by Observerinvancouver on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:02:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lucy Van Pelt says (0+ / 0-)

      "It should be 5 cents."

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