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FBR
06-13-2008, 05:47 PM
This article would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080613/ap_on_el_pr/obama_social_security;_ylt=AnidDnGEZ8SBotb.XCz0dVG s0NUE

Obama wants to go after FICA taxes from those mean rich folks who have an employee salary of $250K or more. Conveniently, his Senate salary is way less than that. But he and Michelle earn many times that in book royalties and fees from speaking engagements and so forth but that income is exempt from payroll taxes. Sadly, many people still believe Obama is a man of the hard working people.

FBR

minnow
06-13-2008, 06:08 PM
This article would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080613/ap_on_el_pr/obama_social_security;_ylt=AnidDnGEZ8SBotb.XCz0dVG s0NUE

Obama wants to go after FICA taxes from those mean rich folks who have an employee salary of $250K or more. Conveniently, his Senate salary is way less than that. But he and Michelle earn many times that in book royalties and fees from speaking engagements and so forth but that income is exempt from payroll taxes. Sadly, many people still believe Obama is a man of the hard working people.

FBR ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Interesting... So, how many SW members make a SALARY north of $250K?? The people that do likely have other "pay components" & perks that would more than offset a 6.2% bite. Things like stock options/awards (and dividends/capital gains derived from such), country club memberships, company car, etc. OTOH, there's far more people earning $102-250K that don't get those goodies. Last time I looked, every citizen gets 1 vote, regardless of income (electoral vote nuances notwistanding).

Melonie
06-13-2008, 07:51 PM
^^^ these proposals from Obama are no surprise. They follow the typical Democratic 'playbook' ...

- low taxes and generous social welfare benefits to the 'poor'
- raising 'official' tax rates on the rich, but leaving enough loopholes in place such that the rich don't actually have to pay taxes at a rate that remotely approaches the 'official' tax rate
- continuing / adding civil service jobs with ultra generous benefits and low performance standards

between these three groups, the Democrats are usually able to muster a 51% voting majority. At that point, the Democrats can significantly raise taxes on the 'middle class' i.e. those who receive the majority of their income from salaries, and who earn between $75k and $250k per year.

miabella
06-13-2008, 08:00 PM
anything over 250k puts you in the top 1.5 percent. just a bit of perspective. 98.5% of the country makes less than that. further, 100k is 'top 16 percent', with most of the range between 100 and 250k clustered around 100-150k.

there's a reason people think six figures is a buncha money and that 250k is unimaginable wealth. it's because almost no-one earns that kind of money in salary form or otherwise.

FBR
06-13-2008, 09:01 PM
anything over 250k puts you in the top 1.5 percent. just a bit of perspective. 98.5% of the country makes less than that. further, 100k is 'top 16 percent', with most of the range between 100 and 250k clustered around 100-150k.

there's a reason people think six figures is a buncha money and that 250k is unimaginable wealth. it's because almost no-one earns that kind of money in salary form or otherwise.

Whats amusing is if you drove by my house you would see a typical 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch. I am far from rich. I pay close to half of what I earn in federal, state and payroll taxes.

I know I could convert a large chunk of my income to dividends. But due to the tax laws my company cannot deduct those dividends as expenses and my company would have to pay the taxes anyway.

The point I was trying to make was to illustrate the hypocrisy. Barack and Michelle live in a million dollar home in Chicago which they bought manipulating the Rezko connection. Thats fine. But to pretend they are friends of the common folks and understand their needs is laughable.

FBR

Deogol
06-13-2008, 09:38 PM
Whats amusing is if you drove by my house you would see a typical 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch. I am far from rich. I pay close to half of what I earn in federal, state and payroll taxes.

I know I could convert a large chunk of my income to dividends. But due to the tax laws my company cannot deduct those dividends as expenses and my company would have to pay the taxes anyway.

The point I was trying to make was to illustrate the hypocrisy. Barack and Michelle live in a million dollar home in Chicago which they bought manipulating the Rezko connection. Thats fine. But to pretend they are friends of the common folks and understand their needs is laughable.

FBR

I second this.

I also believe we need to go after globalism which is reducing the opportunity of the more common person. The ladders are being yanked away from people who could be adding to the over-all prosperity of the nation. The tide that was suppose to rise all boats seems to be the tide that is going out to sea grounding many boats.

Unfortunately I think we have a lot further to slide before people accept massive change and we will have to live through a bit of "eat the rich" until it is learned that doesn't work.

(Ever get paid for a job by a poor person?)

miabella
06-14-2008, 12:38 AM
the problem is i don't think taxing well-off people at 90 percent is a good idea. i am a filthy libertarian, after all. tariffs are more my speed.

i'm just pointing out WHY people think 250k is 'rich'. it's literally 1/100 of the population. i am well aware that many people at that income level don't 'feel' rich, but their feelings don't erase the relative rarity of their status.

i.breathe.in
06-14-2008, 12:41 AM
depends on the state. it shouldnt be nationwide it should vary by the above average income of the state, or county IMO...

miabella
06-14-2008, 01:09 AM
median incomes vary suprisingly little from state to state, even taking into account higher and lower costs of living. not large differences for the kind of numbers being referenced here.

Melonie
06-14-2008, 03:56 AM
the problem is i don't think taxing well-off people at 90 percent is a good idea. i am a filthy libertarian, after all.

I agree completely. But the ultimate hypocracy is that while certain politicians and mainstream media make a big 'splash' about calls to tax the rich, in reality the same politicians make sure that there are enough loopholes / tax credits / tax favored investment opportunities available for the rich so that they can avoid actually paying anywhere near the 'official' tax rates. In fact, thanks to these loopholes / tax credits / tax favored invesment opportunities the rich actually avoid paying tax rates as a percentage of their total incomes that is anywhere near the actual tax rates leveed on the 'middle class'.

However mainstream media remains most silent on the latter point - with published info mostly stemming from 'volunteer' statements of uber rich individuals (like Warren Buffet's interview where he points out he only pays 1/2 the actual tax rate percentage that his secretary must pay), and the 'forced' disclosures of political candidates (like John Kerry's 2004 tax return, showing a 12% de-facto tax rate paid on over $5 million dollars worth of total income).

I agree with the financial theory that it is primarily 'rich' people who serve to fuel the economic engine of America via creation of new jobs / businesses - anyone who has worked as a dancer in an upscale club will thoroughly understand the principle ! Therefore imposing ponderous tax rates on 'rich' people merely serves to motivate them to cut back on business investment (which is fully taxable) in favor of tax favored / tax exempt investments.


median incomes vary suprisingly little from state to state, even taking into account higher and lower costs of living. not large differences for the kind of numbers being referenced here.

I would argue that the statistics for 'high tax' states like California, New York, New Jersey etc. do constitute a large difference ... i.e. that on the average middle aged civil servants / union workers with 10+ years of seniority is going to be earning more than $100k per year. If the statewide median income calculation comes out surprisingly low, this can be directly attributed to the percentage of these states' populations that (for whatever reason) remains chronically unemployed thus sustaining themselves via social welfare benefit programs ... with the equivalent cash value of those benefits i.e. subsidized rent, subsidized utilities, free medicaid etc. being left out of the median income calculation.

~

Melonie
06-14-2008, 06:39 AM
(snip)"A column in the Wall Street Journal discusses Senator Obama’s plan to boost the top tax rate on entrepreneurs and investors from less than 38 percent to more than 50 percent. This huge tax increase will significantly undermine incentives to both earn and report income. As a result, the author, formerly with the Social Security Administration, explains that behavioral responses will result in far less money than projected by “static” revenue estimates:

Mr. Obama has recently veered sharply left. He now proposes to solve the looming Social Security shortfall exclusively with higher taxes. …Currently, all wages below about $100,000 are subject to a 12.4% Social Security payroll tax. But all wages above that amount are not subject to the tax. Mr. Obama wants to eliminate the cap, but, in a concession to taxpayers, exempt wages between $100,000 and $200,000. …Mr. Obama’s plan would keep Social Security in the black for only three additional years. Under his proposal, annual deficits would hit in 2020, instead of 2017. By the 2030s the system would still run an annual deficit exceeding $150 billion. Mr. Obama’s modest improvements to Social Security’s financing come at a steep cost. …The top marginal federal tax rates would effectively increase to 50.3% from 37.9%, equivalent to repealing the Bush income tax cuts almost three times over. If one accounts for behavioral responses, even the modest budgetary improvements from Mr. Obama’s plan are likely to be overstated. If employers reduce wages to cover their increased payroll-tax liabilities, these wages would no longer be subject to state or federal income taxes, or Medicare taxes. A 2006 study by Harvard economist and Obama adviser Jeffrey Liebman concluded that roughly 20% of revenue increases from raising the tax cap would be offset by declining non-Social Security taxes. Assuming modest negative behavioral responses, Mr. Liebman projected an additional 30% reduction in net revenues, leaving barely half the intended revenue intact. Mr. Obama’s plan would also dramatically raise incentives for tax evasion, further degrading revenue gains. Many high-earning individuals evade the Medicare payroll tax by setting up “S Corporations,” paying themselves in untaxed dividends rather than taxable wages. John Edwards avoided $590,000 in Medicare taxes this way in the 1990s. …The U.S. already collects far more Social Security taxes from high earners than other countries do. Social Security taxes here are currently capped at about three times the national average wage — far above other developed countries. In Canada and France payroll taxes are levied only up to the average wage. In the United Kingdom, taxes stop at 1.15 times the average wage; in Germany and Japan at 1.5 times."(snip)

from

crizgolfer
06-14-2008, 07:21 AM
the problem is i don't think taxing well-off people at 90 percent is a good idea. i am a filthy libertarian, after all. tariffs are more my speed.

How many libertarians do we have here? Perhaps we need a poll.

Taxation is theft, plain and simple. I do not like tariff's either. The government('s) need to start by spending far less and shifting to use fees and taxes.

If a communinity colllects property taxes then those should go to basic services like roads and sidewalks, etc...

i.breathe.in
06-14-2008, 07:23 AM
How many libertarians do we have here? Perhaps we need a poll.

Taxation is theft, plain and simple. I do not like tariff's either. The government('s) need to start by spending far less and shifting to use fees and taxes.

If a communinity colllects property taxes then those should go to basic services like roads and sidewalks, etc...

but that would make sense! we cant have the government do anything like that! lol

i just choose the lesser of the evils i guess.

crizgolfer
06-14-2008, 07:42 AM
i just choose the lesser of the evils i guess.

Many do choose the lesser of two evils, but even that is still an evil. There has been a movement in the US for many years to add another voting option to each political race. That option would be "None of the Above."

Of course, those in power will not allow it, because it would show the truth of how American citizens really feel about their political "leadership." It would be interesting to see the outcome with that selection added.

I do not vote in all political races. I laugh at people that say "if you don't vote then you don't count." I reply that "you do vote and you don't count." I only vote for candidates that I believe are worthy (and there are not many). Give me the NOTA option and I will vote in all races.

i.breathe.in
06-14-2008, 07:43 AM
I do not vote in all political races. I laugh at people that say "if you don't vote then you don't count." I reply that "you do vote and you don't count.".

that sure is how it seems!

Richard_Head
06-14-2008, 07:51 AM
Obama wants to go after FICA taxes from those mean rich folks who have an employee salary of $250K or more.Why should they be exempt exactly?


Conveniently, his Senate salary is way less than that. But he and Michelle earn many times that in book royalties and fees from speaking engagements and so forth but that income is exempt from payroll taxes.That doesn't mean that it's exempt from income taxes, it's still taxed.

Melonie
06-14-2008, 08:44 AM
That doesn't mean that it's exempt from income taxes, it's still taxed

true, but royalty payments are generally taxed at a rate of 15%, with 0% Social Security tax and 0% medicare tax tacked on top. Municipal Bond interest earnings are generally taxed at a rate of 0%, with 0% SSI tax and 0% medicare tax ... which is the main reason that John Kerry was able to pay such a low tax rate on his 5 million dollar income (more than half of that income stemmed from muni bonds). In contrast, for the self-employed dancers earning $75-$100k per year who dominate this BBS, they are typically taxed at a rate of 21-28%, with 15.3% Social Security and medicare tax tacked on top of that.


Obama wants to go after FICA taxes from those mean rich folks who have an employee salary of $250K or more.

Why should they be exempt exactly?

clarification ... under the present system nobody is exempt. However, there is a cutoff in regard to the maximum amount of Social Security tax dollars collected from one person in a year ... which presently is $102,000 * 7.65% = $7803 per year for an employee and another $7,803 from their employer (with self-employed persons paying both). At the same time there is a cutoff in regard to the maximum amount of Social Security monthly benefits which can be paid out upon retirement ... which presently is $26,220 per year. This is an outgrowth of the FDR premise that Social Security is a government administrated retirement system of sorts - in that higher earning people pay higher Social Security taxes (to a point) and also receive higher Social Security retirement benefits (to a point) that are proportional to the amount of taxes they paid into the system.

In contrast, there is no cutoff in regard to the maximum amount of medicare tax collected from one person in a year. The amount collected is 2.9% of 'wage' income, regardless of the amount of 'wage' income. On the flip side, there is no stated limit as to the amount of medicare benefits one person can collect upon retirement either.

Of course other forms of income i.e. dividends from subchapter S corporations, royalties, bond interest etc. are exempt from medicare tax (as well as being exempt from Social Security tax). This leads to the famous story about John Edwards avoiding nearly $600k in medicare taxes by funnelling his income through a 'shell' corporation - which is probably what Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and every other politician on the 'lecture circuit' is doing in regard to speaking fee earnings. But I stray from the point ...

What Obama is proposing is to formally do away with any vestiges of the FDR premise that Social Security is a government administrated retirement program, and instead concede that the amount of social security tax collected versus the amount of social security benefits eventually becoming payable will have no future relationship with each other besides that what is dictated by future gov't tax and social welfare benefit policy. In essence this transforms the Social Security tax into just another general tax on businesses and workers, and transforms Social Security benefits into just another social welfare benefit program. Obviously Obama thinks that imposing a 7.65% additional tax on all 'wage' income above $200k or $250k or whatever number he eventually chooses, will raise huge amounts of new tax revenue. My previous post gives evidence that far less additional revenue will actually be collected than Obama anticipates, because the 'rich' will have stronger motivation to pull a John Edwards to avoid Social Security taxes as well as to avoid medicare taxes. My previous post also gives evidence that the employers who are also saddled with paying the same 7.65% additional tax on behalf of their employees will cut back future salaries / bonuses accordingly, as well as cutting back on expanding US employment and investment, if the $7.803 per employee maximum limit is raised to 7.65% of $250k or 7.65% of $2.5mil or 7.65% of $25mil. Specifically, this would provide strong motivation for more US based businesses and industries to relocate themselves and their highly paid executives outside the country, or would provide strong motivation for the increased use of non-cash compensation i.e. stock options / free use of the company jet, 'convention center' in the Bahamas, 'retreat' in Aspen / financial derivatives / other tricky shit that has yet to be invented - but I again stray from the point ...

In the area of a slippery slope, because Obama's proposal breaks all vestiges of FDR's linkage between Social Security retirement system tax collections and social security retirement benefit payouts, it also throws the door wide open for the next 'stop' down the slope - 'means testing' of future Social Security benefit eligibility. Obama's logic that 'rich people can afford to pay more taxes' can easily be logically inverted to state that 'rich people don't need help from the gov't to pay for their retirement'.

This in turn could very easily translate into future changes in gov't retirement benefit policy where people who have scrimped and saved in order to build up very sizeable balances in their 401k's, IRA's etc. over the course of 45 years of hard work could easily be told that because they can afford to pay for their own retirement expenses they don't need any help from the gov't - and as such will not be receiving Social Security checks from the gov't when they retire (despite the fact that they may have paid in 1/4 million dollars worth of Social Security taxes over the course of that 45 years of hard work).

Also, like virtually every other 'liberal' taxation and social welfare benefit policy, this proposed breaking of the linkage between Social Security taxes paid in and social security benefits paid out, i.e. the imposition of an 'unlimited' new tax as a percentage of 'wage' earnings on employees and employers, is loaded with MORAL HAZARD. It arguably penalizes the potential returns for hard work and risk taking, while increasing the relative returns for safe passive tax favored investments. It arguably penalizes those who would save money for their retirement, and would reward those who spend every dollar they can lay their hands on (thus turning to the gov't for help when they reach retirement age, and getting it).

Frankly speaking, I have been anticipating an eventual 'means test' being applied to Social Security retirement benefits as the only workable solution to future Social Security balance of payments problems ... which is the reason that I haven't gone overboard in regard to making IRA contributions. I have also been anticipating an increase in all sorts of taxes at both the federal and state level, which is the reason that I have been migrating towards raising my portfolio's percentage of New York based Muni Bonds. However, younger people, and people who have not been able to build up a sufficient portfolio to afford getting into tax favored investments (which unfortunately typically have high minimum buy-ins), are going to take these new taxes right up the a$$. I would also point out that nobody has discussed indexing these new taxes for inflation, thus today's 'rich' $200k or $250k earnings level may easily become commonplace when a true inflation rate of 6-8-10% per year is factored in over a 45 year working life ( a la the Alternative Minimum Tax) !!!

~

Richard_Head
06-14-2008, 09:31 AM
^^^Oh, I get it now, McCain must be proposing to close those loopholes::). Why didn't you say so?


***For the record, McCain has not proposed the closing of any tax loopholes.

Melonie
06-14-2008, 10:39 AM
^^^ actually, what McCain APPEARS to be proposing is a reduction in the financial tax savings incentive that prompts the rich to stop putting money into risk taking mainstream investments and to instead seek out the exploitation of loopholes / tax favored investments / tax free investments instead. He proposes this via making the Bush income tax cuts permanent and by leaving the capital gains tax alone, as opposed for a call for increasing both by Obama.

Additionally McCain APPEARS to be proposing far fewer new tax favored investment opportunities. He proposes this by a much more restrained approach to gov't subsidies for (othewise unprofitable) ethanol / solar / wind power companies, which reduces the production tax credits available to first tier investors in ethanol corn farms / refineries / solar / wind farms ( which can then be used by those rich investors to offset other tax liabilities).

In both cases I say 'appears' because nobody knows what will actually be proposed by either candidate, or what support will actually be forthcoming from the congress, in regard to tax changes.

Richard_Head
06-14-2008, 10:59 AM
He proposes this via making the Bush income tax cuts permanent and by leaving the capital gains tax alone, as opposed for a call for increasing both by Obama.And how well did that work for GWB and the economy?


Additionally McCain APPEARS to be proposing far fewer new tax favored investment opportunities. Sorry, but proposing fewer NEW tax favored investment opportunities is a far cry from closing existing loopholes.


In both cases I say 'appears' because nobody knows what will actually be proposed by either candidate, or what support will actually be forthcoming from the congress, in regard to tax changes.Actually, Obama has stated what he is proposing, isn't that why this thread was started? As for what will be forthcoming? Democrats had control of congress for less then two years and they at least made an attempt (by Rangel) to close some of these loopholes (yes, it did fail, but at least it was an attempt which was more than the GOP can claim while they controlled congress and the white house for 6 years, and I think it highly probable that they will try again after they gain more seats this coming fall).

LadyLuck
06-14-2008, 02:00 PM
And how well did that work for GWB and the economy?

I think it worked out just like they planned.

The rich got richer and the middle class and the poor are suffering.

Gas is more than double than when GW first took office. Which means that he and his family are personally raking in tons and tons cash .

Similarly, oil companies are making record profits.

Even non oil companies with connections him and members of his administration have received huge no bid contracts for shoddy workmanship and massive waste done in an illegal and immoral war.

I think those ethically bankrupt bastards got exactly what they were aiming for- all at the expense of the majority of the US population and tremendous loss of life and destruction in Iraq.

jester214
06-16-2008, 04:05 PM
I could rant about what is above, but it's so ridiculous theres no point.

No matter what Obama proposes, he's more of a friend to the common man than Hillary would have been, and probably more than McCain will be. I mean seriously? You really think the man with millions is trying to bend tax law to his favor? Come on...

VegasPrincess
06-18-2008, 11:20 PM
I think we are at a time in this country where things are truly in a downward spiral. I know that for the last few years I definitely would have considered myself Upper Middle Class, and altho I have moved and quit my great job at Spearmint & OGs, I am struggling to merely make ends meet dancing in Milwaukee. When I danced here in the past, say 2002, I could easily make 3-400 a night. Now, I am lucky to make 200.

I see so much ruin around me...people in foreclose, cashing in their IRAs, etc. These are not lower class people, BTW. Also, I have a highly specialized degree that is in the Arts, and I could not get a straight job to save my soul right now as th economy is so awful people are not right now so interestd in putting their children in ballet classes.

While I don't think that wealthy people should be punished for their success, I do feel that it is the social responsibility of all wealthy people to contribute back. I do not think that the extra 6% tax would burden those in the 250k plus group as much as a 2% tax increase would burden the middle class at this point. And, fyi, even though I am broke I do contribute what I can to charity right now, altho it is small in the big shceme of things.

PS-FBR, you are free to spend some of that disposable income on my web-cam if that would be more suitable than paying it in taxes ;) hehhee

Melonie
06-19-2008, 04:47 PM
^^^ such is the fate of any economy that is dominated by the 'service sector'. When times get tough, people suddenly discover that they can do without ballet lessons / massages / lap dances and a host of other 'luxury' services, and that they can also groom their own pets / mow their own lawns / clean their own pools.


I do feel that it is the social responsibility of all wealthy people to contribute back. I do not think that the extra 6% tax would burden those in the 250k plus group as much as a 2% tax increase would burden the middle class at this point.

In theory I agree of course. But in practice, the prospect of a 40%+ income tax bracket will provide sufficient motivation for the wealthy to resort to tax exempt bonds / tax favored investments like solar or wind or ethanol / offshore private banking and a host of other options which will allow them to legally avoid paying anywhere near the published 40% tax rate. As a result, the amount of tax revenue the gov't will actually gain from the wealthy will be significantly less than they have anticipated.

As a further result, the politicians who imposed the additional taxes on the wealthy in order to fund new social welfare benefits for the 'poor' will be faced with a dilemma. They can either reneg on their benefits promises because they can't pay for them with tax revenues from the wealthy that won't actually exist, or they can make up for the legal tax avoidance by the wealthy by raising the middle class tax rate by 4% instead of 2% - with the middle class usually lacking the 'minimum buy-ins' required to take advantage of the legal tax avoidance options open to the wealthy thus unable to escape the 4% tax increase !

FBR
06-19-2008, 05:49 PM
While I don't think that wealthy people should be punished for their success, I do feel that it is the social responsibility of all wealthy people to contribute back. I do not think that the extra 6% tax would burden those in the 250k plus group as much as a 2% tax increase would burden the middle class at this point. And, fyi, even though I am broke I do contribute what I can to charity right now, altho it is small in the big shceme of things.

Vegas, I hear what you are saying but I earned the money through hard work and taking the risk to get a business going. Had I failed, no one would have been there to bail me out.

I punched 6% of $250,000 into my calculator and it came out $15,000. Why in the world would I want to give total strangers $15K? I have numerous children who have a stronger claim.


PS-FBR, you are free to spend some of that disposable income on my web-cam if that would be more suitable than paying it in taxes ;) hehhee

Hmmm. Well, you are not exactly a total stranger. And I like web cams in theory. I should check with my accountant to see if I can write it off }:D

FBR

VegasPrincess
06-19-2008, 05:52 PM
^^^

hehehehe!! just tell him I'm a charity case lol!

There really isn't a good solution to these problems, it's like what would the less harmful thing to do to generate more income through taxes...the government "needs" it and unfortunately we're just not in a position to give it....

miabella
06-19-2008, 05:59 PM
FBR is voicing something that is not as common to more socialist countries, as they are more homogeneous in terms of culture, even with some of their current upheavals in being 95% one thing instead of 99%. America, where lots of cultures and ethnicities live together without one main ethnic group having massacred the others into oblivion, has a hard time getting socialist-type policy going because people see that others aren't from their culture and are therefore 'strangers' who can't be shared with.

Of course, FBR also in such a voicing is failing to acknowledge the numerous strangers who created the laws and infrastructure (paid for with taxes) that allow him to run a business successful enough to put him in the highest tiers of income-earners in this country.

FBR
06-19-2008, 06:19 PM
FBR is voicing something that is not as common to more socialist countries, as they are more homogeneous in terms of culture, even with some of their current upheavals in being 95% one thing instead of 99%. America, where lots of cultures and ethnicities live together without one main ethnic group having massacred the others into oblivion, has a hard time getting socialist-type policy going because people see that others aren't from their culture and are therefore 'strangers' who can't be shared with.

Of course, FBR also in such a voicing is failing to acknowledge the numerous strangers who created the laws and infrastructure (paid for with taxes) that allow him to run a business successful enough to put him in the highest tiers of income-earners in this country.

mia, I am pretty sure that the power brokers making the laws that once in a while benefit me (although I don't feel that benefited considering what I pay in taxes) are getting way more out of those laws than I ever will. But in spite of that I feel blessed. I make a nice living. I came up from nothing. I don't even have a college degree. My employees (most of whom are long term) make a nice living and are happy in their jobs. If asked, I suspect the would rather not have the government take more money from me. I mean, they understand that it would impact them at some point.

FBR

FBR
06-19-2008, 07:34 PM
Well, you're already paying around $6,000, so the purported Obama penalty would be $9,000, not $15,000.

The way I read the article - which may be incorrect in the first place, and of course could be changed anyway - if you were paid exactly $250,000, the FICA would be exactly the same as now. If you earned $300,000, it would increase by $3,000 - 6% of the extra $50,000 - plus, of course, a like amount from your company. Still a chunk, but not quite as bad.

Panda I was just moving along with the conversation. I guess if I only have to give 9K instead of 15K to random strangers I should be proportionately less upset. Thank you. You have made my day ;)

FBR

Richard_Head
06-19-2008, 08:10 PM
Panda I was just moving along with the conversation. I guess if I only have to give 9K instead of 15K to random strangers I should be proportionately less upset. Thank you. You have made my day ;) I have no idea what type of business you have FBR so I could be way off base here (and I'm sure Melonie will chime in on this as being preposterous thinking on my part), but let's just say that this extra $9K helped towards improving the economy and the overall business environment, do you think that just perhaps it could pay off for your business in the long run? Or is that just ridiculous thinking on my part? How did your business do with Clinton as president? Was it a disaster?

Melonie
06-19-2008, 09:39 PM
I have no idea what type of business you have FBR so I could be way off base here (and I'm sure Melonie will chime in on this as being preposterous thinking on my part), but let's just say that this extra $9K helped towards improving the economy and the overall business environment, do you think that just perhaps it could pay off for your business in the long run

A key underlying question to any such postulate is how an Obama gov't plans to spend the additional money it proposes to confiscate from FBR. From what I have read, almost all plans call for increasing benefits to the 'poor'. The sole 'pro-business' proposals only seem to revolve around certain businesses for which gov't subsidies are to be expanded i.e. ethanol, solar, wind etc. as well as health care. Thus unless FBR's business is directly involved in one of these subsidized niches, I fail to see how Obama's proposed removal of the SSI tax cap - which will cause his business to pay 6% additional SSI tax plus will cause him personally to pay another 6% SSI tax on his 'salary' payments above $250k - represents a positive use of that additional tax money.

Richard_Head
06-19-2008, 10:02 PM
From what I have read, almost all plans call for increasing benefits to the 'poor'. Probably because you get all your news from far right sources. Balance is a good thing, you should give it a try.


The sole 'pro-business' proposals only seem to revolve around certain businesses for which gov't subsidies are to be expanded i.e. ethanol, solar, wind etc. as well as health care. Why are you so opposed to people making money from these things?


Thus unless FBR's business is directly involved in one of these subsidized niches, I fail to see how Obama's proposed removal of the SSI tax cap - which will cause his business to pay 6% additional SSI tax plus will cause him personally to pay another 6% SSI tax on his 'salary' payments above $250k - represents a positive use of that additional tax money.Well, I guess that's why I directed the question to FBR and not to you, I already knew how you'd respond. Trickle down isn't working, why not try another approach? There is more than one way to skin a cat afterall.

Melonie
06-19-2008, 10:43 PM
Probably because you get all your news from far right sources. Balance is a good thing, you should give it a try.

when Barack Obama's proposals show some 'balance', I'll be the first to acknowledge it. But so far everything seems to be following a 'Robin Hood' model !


Why are you so opposed to people making money from these things

I'm NOT opposed to people actually making money from these things (solar / wind / ethanol). What I AM opposed to is people TAKING money for these things ... since the profitability of these things is entirely dependent on the collection of additional tax money from others, and the transfer of that tax money to solar / wind / ethanol investors in the form of direct subsidies, production tax credits etc. In the case of the 'stealth' ethanol tax, this amounts to a gov't sanctioned reverse 'Robin Hood' scheme ... where rich and poor alike are forced to pay 56 cents per gallon in ethanol tax ( = 5.6 cents per gallon on 10% blended gasoline) which is then DIRECTLY passed to the US ethanol refiners to boost profits, and is directly passed to rich ethanol investors in the form of production tax credits which they then use to avoid having to pay other taxes !!!

Richard_Head
06-20-2008, 12:55 AM
when Barack Obama's proposals show some 'balance', I'll be the first to acknowledge it. But so far everything seems to be following a 'Robin Hood' model !That's kind of my point, how would you know if it's showing balance if you only listen the rightwing spin on his proposals?


I'm NOT opposed to people actually making money from these things (solar / wind / ethanol). What I AM opposed to is people TAKING money for these things ... since the profitability of these things is entirely dependent on the collection of additional tax money from others, and the transfer of that tax money to solar / wind / ethanol investors in the form of direct subsidies, production tax credits etc. In the case of the 'stealth' ethanol tax, this amounts to a gov't sanctioned reverse 'Robin Hood' scheme ... where rich and poor alike are forced to pay 56 cents per gallon in ethanol tax ( = 5.6 cents per gallon on 10% blended gasoline) which is then DIRECTLY passed to the US ethanol refiners to boost profits, and is directly passed to rich ethanol investors in the form of production tax credits which they then use to avoid having to pay other taxes !!!I'm guessing this is also a rightwing spin on the issue, but even if not, I can live with this if it help ween us off our dependence on foreign oil, that to me is a much bigger issue.

Melonie
06-20-2008, 03:31 AM
That's kind of my point, how would you know if it's showing balance if you only listen the rightwing spin on his proposals?

there IS no right wing spin to proposals calling for massive tax increases and massive spending in creases on social welfare programs.

Richard_Head
06-20-2008, 08:57 AM
there IS no right wing spin to proposals calling for massive tax increases and massive spending in creases on social welfare programs.That comment itself is spin. The average person would not see a massive tax increase which is what you are implying. Which social welfare programs are you referring to? You're a bit short on detail? Is that an attempt to mislead also?

Melonie
06-20-2008, 09:26 AM
The average person would not see a massive tax increase which is what you are implying.

... which of course is the democratic spin on the issue. For a fact billions of additional tax dollars would be collected from individuals and busnesses due to Obama's proposed removal of the SSI earnings cap, due to Obama's proposed increase in the capital gains tax, due to Obama's proposed expiration of the temporary GWB individual income tax rate cuts, and a host of others. Whether or not the 'average person' believes that businesses and 'rich' individuals can afford to pay these increased thaxes, for a fact those dollars will be taken away from businesses and 'rich' individuals and spent on other things by gov't. In turn, this means lower profit margins for businesses, less money available for (re)investment in US businesses by those businesses and 'rich' individuals etc. Eventually this will trickle down to lost competitiveness and lost US jobs, which WILL be seen by the 'average' American. And, at the very least, 'average' Americans will definitely see the increase in federal income tax that results from the temporary GWB tax cuts being allowed to expire !

In regard to expanding social welfare program spending, for starters we have Obama's support of proposed national health care. There is also a proposed increase in the 'earned income tax credit' to low income Americans. There is also a proposed increase in utility / energy related subsidy programs for low income Americans such as HEAP. All in all there are dozens of areas where Obama advocates greatly increased gov't spending ... but as usual most of the details are a 'well kept secret'. Here's an admittedly partisan assessment of what is in store should Obama's proposed tax and spend increases actually come to pass courtesy of US congress members who have seen the CBO projection figures or had congressional staffers grind through the math ...

(snip)"
The amendment, which Allard calls “The Obama Spend-o-Rama” proposes funding 111 of the 188 spending proposals put out so far during Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential campaign. (These were the proposals which Allard’s staff had time to analyze before the GOP leadership asked him to offer the amendment on the floor.) According to Allard, “There are another 77 proposals with unknown cost estimates that will add billions to this number.”

Allard freely admits that he will oppose his own amendment and urges other Senators to do the same. But, as a senior Senate staffer pointed out to HUMAN EVENTS, “Let’s see how many Senators who have endorsed Obama will actually vote for his budget.”

Some of the numbers around the federal budget are incomprehensibly large. How do you wrap your mind around a 5-year cost of $1.4 trillion?

Senator Allard offers some comparisons to help with that mental exercise:

• This new spending, if enacted, would represent an almost 10% increase over the President’s FY 2009 budget.

• This $300 billion spending proposal would cost more than 42 states’ budgets combined (general fund expenditures).

• It is more than the United States spent last year on imported oil ($294 billion net).

• It is more than 60% larger than any one-year federal spending increase, ever.

An initial draft of the Amendment which was obtained by HUMAN EVENTS shows its purpose of “raisi(ng) taxes by an unprecedented $1.4 trillion for the purpose of fully funding 111 new or expanded federal spending programs” and, referencing S. Con. Res. 70, the Fiscal Year 2009 budget proposal, lists 111 items in the format of “On page 11, line 4, increase the amount by $5,120,000,000.” (snip)

(snip)" Of course, the problem with government spending is that government only has the money it takes from taxpayers. Senator Allard therefore laid out the tax consequences of Obama’s budget-busting proposals:

“According to CBO, President Clinton’s 1993 tax increase raised taxes $240.6 billion over five years. The late Senator Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) called it the ‘largest tax increase in the history of public finance in the United States or anywhere else in the world.’ But this proposal will increase spending $300 billion in a single-year.”

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who spoke immediately after Allard, re-emphasized the point: One year of Obama’s proposed spending increase “is bigger than the 5-year increase (in federal income tax collections) that President Clinton imposed on the American taxpayer.”

Burr argued that Obama’s promise to raise taxes just on the Democrats’ “attractive target” of people earning over $250,000, will only generate $225 billion over 5 years, far short of the $1.4 trillion which Obama’s proposed programs (actually only 60% of them) would saddle taxpayers with during that same time frame.

If Obama wanted to raise taxes on only the top 1% (earning over $365,000) to fund his plans, those citizens’ tax bills would have to rise by over $40,000 annually, an increase of 57%. Given the impossibility of that scenario, even under complete Democratic control of government, the tax hikes would have to trickle down to the American middle class.

“So if Congress decides to widen the pool of taxpayers footing the bill, it would have to raise taxes on the top 5% by 38%; or the top 10% by 32%; or the top 25% by 26%; or the top 50% of taxpayers by 23%. The top 50% of American taxpayers, who already pay 96.9% of all federal income taxes, are those who earn $31,000 (AGI) or more.

“To translate this point into language everyone can understand: if you have an income of $104,000 or more, the plan will cause your tax bill to go up at least an additional $5,300 a year; if you have an income of $62,000 or more, the plan will cause your tax bill to go up at least $2,300 a year. This is on top of the $2,300 increase already assumed by the failure to extend current tax policy.” (emphasis added) [ reference to current tax policy = expiration of temporary GWB income tax cuts - sic]

Obama claims to want to “balance the budget and stop spending the Social Security Surplus.” Combining that laudable goal with Obama’s massive new spending would cause the tax bills of the average taxpayer earning $62,000 to rise $5,300, or 61%. For taxpayers earning $104,000, the increase would be over $12,000, or 74%, and for the top 1%, earning over $365,000, “their income tax bill rise by an astounding $93,500 (132%)!”

It is not only individuals would suffer under the Obama Spend-o-rama: “If you want economic growth in this country, it comes out of the small business sector. And when you raise their taxes markedly, it’s going to markedly have an adverse effect on the economy.” This is on top of the $4,100 tax increase which small businesses will face when the Democratic congress refuses to renew the Bush tax cuts.

In his closing, Senator Allard noted that this is not simply a hypothetical discussion; the current debate is about the 2009 budget, the first year of the next president’s administration. It is therefore important (and good politics) to show the American public the ugly details of Obama’s pretty talk.

As Senator Burr pointedly warned, Congress must not “fictitiously propose that the federal government can increase spending and in fact balance it on the backs of a select few. It will be like every other tax increase — we will balance it on the backs of every American who can’t afford any more taxes.”(snip)

from

I would add that more recent (and less partisan) calculations and projections almost exactly corroborate those brought up in the link above ...

(snip)"NTUF's third round of "costing out" the candidates' platforms since
January 29 found that Clinton would increase yearly federal spending by
$289.6 billion, compared to Sen. Obama's (D-IL) $343.9 billion - both
significantly higher totals from the last update on March 3. NTUF also
released an update for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the presumptive Republican
nominee, who would swell annual federal outlays by $68.5 billion - almost
10 times the amount he was backing in January.

"Vying for votes by out-promising your opponent is an age-old
Presidential campaign tactic, but our spending studies show just how
quickly candidates out on the stump can run up the prospective tab for
taxpayers - especially as the Democratic race has gotten more competitive,"
NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady said. "The greatest increase in
Clinton's and Obama's agendas has happened since we last updated the
reports in March - a time when the Democratic primaries were returning
mixed results with no clear frontrunner."

Brady noted that Clinton's spending total (now $289.6 billion) has
jumped by nearly 33 percent since January 29 ($218.2 billion), and by
roughly 28 percent since March 3 ($226.1 billion). Likewise, Obama's annual
spending platform ($343.6 billion) has increased by about 20 percent since
January 29 ($287.0 billion), and by about 12 percent since March 3 ($307.2
billion).

Although most of the upswing for all three candidates is due to new
official fiscal projections for "cap-and-trade" environmental legislation,
Clinton, McCain, and Obama also offered initiatives in other policy areas.
Items with considerable price tags include a $500 million "Made Green in
America Fund" (Clinton), an unemployment compensation system for older
workers (McCain, updated from "cost unknown" to $3.5 billion), and $625
million more to combat autism (Obama).

NTUF's latest analyses include cost calculations based on hard data for
363 proposals that would affect the federal budget - more than half of
which have unknown fiscal effects. NTUF assumed the most conservative
estimates based on a variety of sources, including the candidates' own
projections; summaries from the Congressional Budget Office, Congressional
Research Service, and the White House Office of Management and Budget; and
results from equivalent legislation from NTUF's BillTally cost-accounting
system.

NTUF is the nonpartisan research arm of the National Taxpayers Union, a
citizen group founded in 1969."(snip)

~

Richard_Head
06-20-2008, 11:04 AM
Again, you're citing right wing sources, sorry but I don't trust their numbers, they are full of hypotheticals and assumptions which no doubt paint a misleading picture. Here's some reading (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=411693) for anybody who wants an actual non-partisan look at the tax plans for each candidate. It from the Tax Policy Center (http://Tax%20Policy%20Center).

Basic conclusion:

<snip> "The two candidates’ plans would have sharply different distributional effects. Senator McCain’s tax cuts would primarily benefit those with very high incomes, almost all of whom would receive large tax cuts that would, on average, raise their after-tax incomes by more than twice the average for all households. Many fewer households at the bottom of the income distribution would get tax cuts and those whose taxes fall would, on average, see their after-tax income rise much less. In marked contrast, Senator Obama offers much larger tax breaks to low- and middle-income taxpayers and would increase taxes on high-income taxpayers. The largest tax cuts, as a share of income, would go to those at the bottom of the income distribution, while taxpayers with the highest income would see their taxes rise."

dlabtot
06-20-2008, 11:36 AM
So if you are earning a salary of over $250k, and the most important thing to you is not paying more in taxes, then don't vote for Obama.

It's not rocket science.

As for the question of whether those who are earning more than 98.5% of the rest of us are 'rich' -- pretty pointless putting a label on it, don't you think? By all means, call me 'poor' and pay me $250k.

LadyLuck
06-20-2008, 12:09 PM
I think it’s pretty darn sad to see people who can clearly afford to help out the poor with no real negative effects on themselves or their lifestyle take such issue with this subject

My household income is way less and we donate approx. 10%
every year to the poor and that is ON TOP of taxes, which of course a small portion goes towards social services.

We do it because it’s not only the kind thing to do but it is also a bit self serving since when the poor suffer a little less then crime rates also go down.

FBR
06-20-2008, 02:48 PM
I think it’s pretty darn sad to see people who can clearly afford to help out the poor with no real negative effects on themselves or their lifestyle take such issue with this subject You would be surprised how much $15,000 means to me. If I am forced to pay those extra taxes I will have to start making cuts in our household budget. My wife's personal trainer will be the first to go. I can hear my wife's screams already.


My household income is way less and we donate approx. 10%
every year to the poor and that is ON TOP of taxes, which of course a small portion goes towards social services. Only 10%? I would have guessed at least 20%. I mean, I am pretty certain that you could donate 20% or more with no negative effect on your lifestyle.


We do it because it’s not only the kind thing to do but it is also a bit self serving since when the poor suffer a little less then crime rates also go down. I am surprised at this statement. To me it implies that only poor people commit crimes. I am sure you are not classist so maybe I am misreading.

FBR

LadyLuck
06-20-2008, 03:59 PM
I know hearing a wife's complaint about not being able to have a personal trainer could be annoying but it does not qualifies as a negative affect in the sense I was getting at- things like not being able to pay the mortgage, electric bill etc.

Btw, if we gave 20+% on top of our taxes we would be joining the poor pretty darn quick. I seriously doubt that someone like you pulling in a quarter MILLION dollars a year ( or more based on what I can tell from your posts) can say the same. You seem too bright to be irresponsible enough with your earnings to get to the point of not being able to stay above poverty with that kind annual income.

We can manage at around 10% in addition to taxes. I hope to be able to get to the point where I can donate 20% without joining the poor. Heck, I'd love to be able to afford to donate 50% to help those less fortunate have a higher standard of living. Espeically kids and the elderly!

My point is around my house we do what we can and are HAPPY to do it. You'll never, ever see me bitching about helping out those less fortunate. NEVER!!!!

I can't afford a personal trainer for myself or my hubby but if I could I'd be more than willing to workout without one if it meant I could help feed a starving child.

I think it says alot about someone when something like a personal trainer is of more importance than for example helping a poor kid getting access to healthcare.

I am not a classist, you are misreading it but I could have been more clear as well. It is commonly known that poor people are more likely to commit crimes of desperation than those with middle class and upper class incomes. Things like shoplifting food at grocery stores to feed their families something that day rather have them eat nothing. Those are the types of crimes I was referring to- sorry I did not clarify that better earlier today.

FBR
06-20-2008, 04:34 PM
LOL I was kidding about the personal trainer.

FBR

LadyLuck
06-20-2008, 04:40 PM
Btw, just to let you know where we are coming from financially I’m going to fudge a rule of mine a bit and divulge a little personal info. ‘My hubby sells manufacturing equipment and works on commission. We all know how hard manufacturing has been hit in this economy too so we have been making quite a bit less in that department. Also his territory is rather large mile wise and so he has to drive A LOT and like so many others, we are suffering the rise in gas prices on top of the drop in sales.

In addition to dancing here and there, I do much of his office busy work. I don’t work the clubs as often anymore because not only have earning potential dropped due to the economy I am just not willing to do the contact levels often required to make good money. I used to travel more to work clubs where that wasn’t as prevalent but since travel costs have gone up so much I don’t get out on the road very often anymore.

On top of that my husband is working on a degree in environmental law so we have those costs as well. I plan to follow with the same degree when he completes his and we are saving for that too.

But some how we still manage to donate approx. 10% to the poor on top of our taxes so considering all that you might understand why I am so baffled at a person making 250 grand or more annual income complaining about helping out the poor.

crizgolfer
06-20-2008, 06:01 PM
The starving children argument again. I have no issue with feeding starving children. I do donate substantial sums to various charities.

I do NOT trust the government to redistribute my work as they choose. How much of those extra tax dollars will REALLY go to feeding starving children? Pennies on the dollar. The rest will be redistributed to some favored group of the elected. I value freedom above all. Taxation (and higher and higher rates) further erodes freedom.

I didn't come from a comfortable background and I struggled for a long time. I know what it is like to go without. I gave up a lot of luxuries and comforts that many middle-class (and lower-class) people seem to value a great deal. Rather than spend time and money on luxuries...I worked and worked. I went a year and a half without taking a day off (no lie). I did not take a real vacation for over 7 years.

I find it humorous that somehow my integrity as human would be questioned now that I am successful. What I (and people such as FBR) contribute to society feeds more "starving" children than any government program that would liberate us of our incomes.

LadyLuck
06-20-2008, 07:28 PM
Good points, Crizgolfer. I don't agree with the very last sentence but your comments about not being sure the money is going to go where they say it will is a valid concern.

I guess maybe I have just become so used to some people ( usually rightwing types) complaining about the fact that the less fortunate in society get help at all that sometime I jump the gun and miss the forest because of the tree, or however that phrase goes.

I've seen and heard so many right-wingers complain about the even existence of programs such as Medicare- some even go so far as to say the object to even public elementary level education access to public safety services such as police, fire ect. I've started to simply expect those things when someone starts objecting to tax money to social service programs.

That's stereotyping though and I need practice to not jumping to conclusions.

Melonie
06-21-2008, 02:40 AM
I guess maybe I have just become so used to some people ( usually rightwing types) complaining about the fact that the less fortunate in society get help at all that sometime I jump the gun

Actually there is a somewhat subtle but extremely important distinction involved. Many 'rightwing types' are not objecting to gov't policies which provide aid to the less fortunate in society in time of need. What they do typically object to are aspects of the programs that provide such aid, i.e. ...

- the cumulative effect of that aid is so generous that it creates a Moral Hazard for the eligible recipients. In other words, the standard of living resulting from being an aid recipient is sufficiently high that it serves as a disincentive for the recipient to ever leave the aid program

- the eligibility requirements for receiving aid create supposedly unintended consequences i.e. a forced breakup of the family unit so that the mother and the children can only remain eligible only if the father exits the picture (literally and figuratively) - which in turn causes another whole spectrum of supposedly unintended consequences.

- the gov't administration and 'nitty gritty details' of the aid systems are grossly inefficient in the use of tax funds. This of course runs the gamut from the highly paid public sector workers 'overseeing' aid recipients, to the unnecessary use of ambulances and emergency rooms (because the aid program will pay $1000's for those but won't pay $100's for cab fare and local health clinic visits).

- specifically, many 'right wing' types object to the result that all of the above have created a de-facto permanent underclass ... whose lifelong 'career' is to remain an aid recipient while supplementing their income in ways which will not jeopardise their eligibility to continue receiving that aid.

xdamage
06-23-2008, 04:53 PM
Well FBR, I have two sentiments to share.

First, all plans to fix the deficit are good, as long as someone else is going to pay for it. It's coming out of your pocket and not mine so I approve.

Second, in case you didn't know it's a sin to be successful, and sinners should pay more tax.

Maybe we should try to extract it from other kinds of sinners too, including those who have disposable income to waste on things like adult entertainment. After all many people can't afford $400-$500 for an hour with strippers in a Very Important Person Room. Sounds like someone is living a life of luxury to me and deserves to be sin taxed for it. Fuckers.

Also we might as well go after pet owners too. All that food wasted feeding critters while there people around the world starving. I think a nice hefty tax on all pet owners would clear up the national debt in no time.

p.s., yes, I am being ridiculous, but only sort of ;)

crizgolfer
06-23-2008, 06:00 PM
^^^^

Don't forget the Porsche owners...tax them especially high...;)

xdamage
06-23-2008, 06:02 PM
^^^^

Don't forget the Porsche owners...tax them especially high...;)

I'm down with that, and also Golfers... I'm thinking add a TAX per hole they play because we all know Golfers live a rich and sinful life and really don't need their extra $$s.