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I have this theory about a friend. See, I'm pretty sure his Facebook friends list is actually a carefully cultivated group of strongly opinionated people of varying stripes. When he's bored, he writes a line or two, throws in a link to something with controversy potential, and then eats popcorn as we explode all over each other.

Today he linked to a summary of Mitt's 2011 returns. One of the comments on the post was: "Or he could have simply taken his money and NOT invested it, thus not contributing to the improvement of the economy. Check out 'capital gains tax law' and why they are in place to encourage investment (which creates jobs). Besides, how can anyone say contributing 1.94M isn't paying a 'fair share'."

Fair share? I do not think those words mean what you think they mean. My reply to follow the swirley thingamajig!

Okay, let's consider $1.94 mil. 

Say the Army needs another 108 Privates this year (only 108, well done Army!). E1 pay, <2 years service = $1491/mo, so $1491 x 12 = hair under $1.94 mil. We can get that by taxing 1000 people earning $13,700 at a 14.1% rate. FYI, $13.7k is roughly $2500 above the poverty line for a single person w/o dependents. After taxes, these 1000 people would have $11,768.30 to live on, not including SS/Medicare, state and local taxes. Alternately, we can tax Romney 14.1% on $13.7 mil and he'll still have $11.8 mil of this year's earnings in his pocket. I emphasize the earnings bit because investment income requires something invested. 

I don't know Romney's rate of return, so I can't be sure how much capital generated his $13.7 mil. Let's assume an RoR of 10%, so that would be base capital of $139 mil. Say $800k spent this year on food, shelter and car elevators. Ergo, he would come out of this year w/ $150 mil in pocket to generate (assuming 10% RoR again) $15 mil income next year. You think the 1000 people hovering at the poverty line would have even $150 bucks to spare at the end of their year? How precisely is that equitable, Ayn Rand? You want to talk cutting costs, awesome, lets shave some fat from the budget (I nominate the TSA to go first), but the government doesn't run on sunshine. Someone has to fork over the cash. Isn't it fair that the burden go to those least damaged by carrying it? 

And before you start about how those people at $13.7k per year just gotta stop being lazy and work harder, my last year before I moved to CA I made <$9k. I went to college and when I came home I applied for everywhere that wasn't crap Federal minimum wages (two jobs not being an option because I had to care for my grandfather), I asked at places that didn't have postings, and I begged for extra hours at the job I did have (or hell, the hours I was promised when I was hired). Hey, maybe I just wasn't good enough for a better job, didn't deserve one. Maybe I was a stupid leach on the system, just another victim looking for a handout from the gubmint? Except... After my move to CA I got a job where I was making almost 2.5 times what I'd pulled in IN the year before. Damn, who knew three days of driving on I-80 could improve a person so very much? I mean, I was a 250% better person after those 2200 miles! And in less than 7.5 years in the comp business, I went from the mail room to a senior claims examiner. I'm now making more than 7 times what I made in 2004, not including my employer's 401k match, 100% health insurance coverage, and employee stock ownership program. Oh yeah, and I'll be eligible for an end of year bonus as well. 

Did I work to get where I am? Damn right I did. I did a good job, I played nice, I took classes and I kept pushing for every opportunity that came open. But I am not a different person than I was 8 years ago, I did my best to hustle in IN, I just got lucky and happened into a place with opportunity. Mitt Romney's worked too, but let's not forget - could he have done this in a place that's not America? Romney and people like him can damn well pay it forward then, make sure the system that let them flourish continues to function for the next guy. Hell, if they don't have that much kindness in their souls, they can consider it insurance to make sure the system doesn't collapse and destroy them with it.

Also, if he's not going to invest it to make more money, what the hell is he going to do with his $139 mil? Pardon me, it's now $150 mil. I don't think they make mattresses that size. Perhaps he could convert it all to gold, throw it in a cave, and call himself a dragon? Of course, because paying $1.94 mil in taxes while merely keeping $11.7 mil new money simply isn't worth it. God forbid, if he'd been taxed at 35%, he'd only have $8.9 mil after paying an exorbitant $4.8 mil in taxes. Nobody understands the demotivating factor of an income of less than $9 mil a year. Rich people got rough lives, you don't even know.

NB: Some edits to correct a bit of grammer fail.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    We've replaced John McCain's regular running mate with Folger's Crystals. Let's see if anyone notices the difference.

    by evil claims rep on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 11:55:20 PM PDT

  •  bottom line is investment is not like taxes (5+ / 0-)

    while investment does benefit the economy, the investor is also rewarded by a lower tax rate that is free from FICA contributions.  The investors' main goal is personal wealth and not job creation.  Home ownership is also seen as job creation so everyone who bought a house in 2011 also aided job creation in 2011 like Mitt did though their goal was to have a roof over their heads and not to create jobs.

    If a result is an incidental byproduct of another goal, is this result praiseworthy or is it merely a byproduct? If job creation is the main goal, government is a much more efficient creator of jobs but wingers want less government, not more, even if it means more jobs.  

    Now as to if the rich truly create that many jobs, here is Money magazine on the topic (hardly a hotbed of Communism)
    http://money.msn.com/...  

    •  What kind of investment? (5+ / 0-)

      Investment in things that help the U.S. economy like, oh, Ford and Chrysler, or wind power, or infrastructure: yes, these are good investments.

      Investments in companies that destroy other companies like, oh, say, just for an example, Bain, are worthless investments as far as the greater economy goes.

      Although they certainly help certain banks in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 12:25:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ack! sorry, entlord, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      I think I didn't completely get what you were saying the first time around.

      My comment stands: however, it is not directed toward your comment, necessarily.  (I claim exhaustion: finished a 10-hour shift and am not reading closely enough.)

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 12:29:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In a recession, more investment is not needed. (5+ / 0-)

    More spending is needed. That's the point to make here. And when the wealthy are "investing" in things that BAin does (leveraging pension funds and dismantling domestic production) that makes the problem worse, not better.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 04:56:41 AM PDT

  •  The bottom line is (0+ / 0-)

    investing is betting. People invest their money in the hope that it will pay off. It's no different than gambling.

    I say that gambling winnings should be taxed at a higher rate than income derived from honest productive work.

    Who disagrees with that?

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 05:02:03 AM PDT

    •  I would tax earnings at a low rate (0+ / 0-)

      and non-earnings at more - so investments are taxed more, you didn't sweat blood to get 'em.  You may have sweated to get the money used to make the investment, but that money has been taxed as earnings already.

      Why tax gambling proceeds - assuming you're not talking about a pro.  It isn't income, more the result of luck.  If you tax winnings, don't you have an obligation to allow gambling losses as a deduction?  If you tax this 'luck', what about taxing a one off gift from an elderly relative, say - why is that not taxable?  

      •  Some people (0+ / 0-)

        are "luckier" than others. And also, isn't a billion dollar inheritance the same as a "one-off gift from a relative"?

        The key to any taxation is to set a floor that exempts the impoverished and the working poor, and then make it progressive. So, for casino gambling, make winnings under $1,000 tax free, with winnings of $1k-$10k taxed at 1%, $10k-$20k at 2%, and so on, for example. Same deal with capital gains, but set the floor higher, at say, $25k perhaps.

        The bottom line is that we as a society need to acknowledge that work should be valued over speculation and parasitism, and the tax code needs to embody that sentiment.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:12:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mary Poppins or Beverly Hilbillies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    are probably the only place where deposits are held in currency notes in a vault.

    When the Mittster put his money in checking account that money was invested. Even if he put the money in Switzerland or Grand Cayman, that money is invested.

    The bank might lend that money to a industrialist. The bank might lend that money to the US govt by buying bonds. The bank might make a mortgage loan.

    Did the Randroids stop learning at age 7?

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