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Offline Porforis  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:32:43 AM(UTC)
Porforis

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While I hate the word "fair" (or rather how some people abuse the term), one thing that Obama's occasional speech about making the rich pay their fair share of taxes does make me think about, is that nobody seems to define WHAT a "Fair Share" is, which brings up a very interesting question to me: In a society such as ours, how much of the fruits of our labors does society as a whole "deserve" for everything from medicare for the poor and retired to transportation and defense?

We obviously all have different ideas for what taxes should be used for, but I'm curious to see what people think is fair. While this question is primarily geared towards the majority of us which live in the states, I'd be very interested to see what those of us that live overseas think as well.

Question number one: For the following income brackets (assume total income, not taxable income), what is a "fair share" for a citizen to pay for ALL taxes (federal, state, and local income, property taxes, sales tax, taxes on gas and other products, etc) besides capital gains, which is a completely different beast? I would not include social security as it in theory will be paid back in part to you upon retirement.

$0 to $8,950:
$8,950 to $36,250:
$36,250 to $87,850:
$87,850 to $183,250:
$183,250 to $398,350:
$398,350 and up:

Question number two: Should taxes on capital gains be a flat rate as they are now, or bracketed? If flat, what should the rate be? If bracketed, what would the brackets look like?

My answers:
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Offline Rockmolder  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:55:15 AM(UTC)
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It's rather hard to imagine how progressive taxes should be put in without taking social securities for me, as the first and second of our brackets consist of 94% and 74% payments towards social security, respectively. Brackets from there on out are just taxes without any social security payments. It's a system I quite like.

$0 to $8,950: 3% (+24% Social security)
$8,950 to $36,250: 15% (+22% Social security)
$36,250 to $87,850: 35% (+7% Social security)
$87,850 to $183,250: 47% (+3% Social security)
$183,250 to $398,350: 53%
$398,350 and up: 58%

I feel like your lowest bracket is a tad bit low, though. I'd up that to something closer to €15,000.-. Maybe up the 4th bracket to €275,000.- and pull out the fifth bracket all together.

I know that 27% and 37% on the first two brackets seem pretty hefty, but that's more of a redistribution in the form of subsidies and support than making it hard on people with a low income. On the contrary, they'd be better off.
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Online Wade  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:58:28 AM(UTC)
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Under $14,500 [= full time at minimum wage for 2000 hrs/year]: 0%.

Anything over $14,500, 10% of all income over $14,500, less any contributions to not-for-profit churches or charities.

No deductions for anything else.
None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
Offline Porforis  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:04:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rockmolder Go to Quoted Post
It's rather hard to imagine how progressive taxes should be put in without taking social securities for me, as the first and second of our brackets consist of 94% and 74% payments towards social security, respectively. Brackets from there on out are just taxes without any social security payments. It's a system I quite like.

$0 to $8,950: 3% (+24% Social security)
$8,950 to $36,250: 15% (+22% Social security)
$36,250 to $87,850: 35% (+7% Social security)
$87,850 to $183,250: 47% (+3% Social security)
$183,250 to $398,350: 53%
$398,350 and up: 58%

I feel like your lowest bracket is a tad bit low, though. I'd up that to something closer to €15,000.-. Maybe up the 4th bracket to €275,000.- and pull out the fifth bracket all together.

I know that 27% and 37% on the first two brackets seem pretty hefty, but that's more of a redistribution in the form of subsidies and support than making it hard on people with a low income. On the contrary, they'd be better off.


I guess the idea of taxing the very low income earners so much for social security doesn't sit right with me precisely since the very lowest bracket doesn't HAVE disposable income. If you're making $36k a year, you'd be taking home $22,680. If you're making $8000, you're taking home $5,840. For extremely low-end housing in most areas, you'd be paying $4,800 a year ($400/mo) for rent alone. Everyone making $0 to around $25,000 is going to have a very hard time being self-sufficient - the more you tax them for social security (and I get why you would do that), the less income they have for the bare necessities and thus the more likely they will need other forms of public assistance like food stamps, and the more likely they will get into debt which will KEEP them poor.
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Offline Pack93z  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:08:26 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Under $14,500 [= full time at minimum wage for 2000 hrs/year]: 0%.

Anything over $14,500, 10% of all income over $14,500, less any contributions to not-for-profit churches or charities.

No deductions for anything else.


This is the approach I would take.. you pay the same percentage regardless of the level of income you earn or the amount spent upon snake oil accountants.

Don't know that I would have the floor set at 14,500 though. Rent/Mortgage, food, health care on $1208 a month for anything over a single person. Not going to work out. So it couldn't be just a flat 14500 a year type statement.

I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Rockmolder  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:12:14 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Porforis Go to Quoted Post
I guess the idea of taxing the very low income earners so much for social security doesn't sit right with me precisely since the very lowest bracket doesn't HAVE disposable income. If you're making $36k a year, you'd be taking home $22,680. If you're making $8000, you're taking home $5,840. For extremely low-end housing in most areas, you'd be paying $4,800 a year ($400/mo) for rent alone. Everyone making $0 to around $25,000 is going to have a very hard time being self-sufficient - the more you tax them for social security (and I get why you would do that), the less income they have for the bare necessities and thus the more likely they will need other forms of public assistance like food stamps, and the more likely they will get into debt which will KEEP them poor.


I get your point, but that gives you enough of an income to give out rent-subsidies, affordable healthcare, subsidizing public transportation for the ones that need it (Who are the only ones who use it, anyway), affordable education for everyone, retirement funds etc.

I know that goes against what a lot of you guys here stand for, but I do like it more than just relieving the lower class of all their taxes and have them squander their money away. Humans are horrible in planning ahead for the long term. This way poor children will have the ability to get proper education, retirement won't be a huge burden on children, renting will be more attractive for people who would've bought a house with a mortgage they can't actually afford etc.
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Offline wpr  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:45:37 PM(UTC)
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I use to say 10% flat tax. But that was Fed only. If you add every kind of a tax under the sun then 40% should do it.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em." Chesty Puller



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Offline PackFanWithTwins  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:51:20 PM(UTC)
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Right now this is a pretty impossible question to answer. With all the different taxes that are about. Corporate, payroll, income, state, gas and on and on. What really needs to be discovered, is how much tax revenue is needed. Once that is found, determine how much of total income is needed to provide that amount. And tax each person at that rate.

I expect that if the waste and abuse is removed, and the services that could be provided by private sector get removed, we would need to tax at about 12%. And at that point. Every body who earns income should pay 12%.
The world needs ditch diggers to Danny!!!
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Online DakotaT  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:58:33 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Under $14,500 [= full time at minimum wage for 2000 hrs/year]: 0%.

Anything over $14,500, 10% of all income over $14,500, less any contributions to not-for-profit churches or charities.

No deductions for anything else.


Your numbers are too low, thresholds and tax %. The idea of a graduated tax system is to help the impoverished build themselves up. A 10% tax on the wealthy is spitting in the face of people who work with their hands and backs. I don't quite understand your insistence on letting the lucky people off like freeloaders - but that's your thing.
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Offline Porforis  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:44:55 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
Your numbers are too low, thresholds and tax %. The idea of a graduated tax system is to help the impoverished build themselves up. A 10% tax on the wealthy is spitting in the face of people who work with their hands and backs. I don't quite understand your insistence on letting the lucky people off like freeloaders - but that's your thing.


I am inclined to agree with you as far as 10% goes, although I'm sure my ideas on what government should be spending greatly differs from what you or Wade thinks. But I really don't think the government could fund any better than vital transportation, the judicial system, and a third-rate military with money like that. What do you think is a more fair % for the income tax brackets listed in the original post? Whether it's for the country we live in or the ideal country in your mind, I guess that's up to you.
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Online Wade  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:53:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
Your numbers are too low, thresholds and tax %. The idea of a graduated tax system is to help the impoverished build themselves up. A 10% tax on the wealthy is spitting in the face of people who work with their hands and backs. I don't quite understand your insistence on letting the lucky people off like freeloaders - but that's your thing.


Because I don't believe most of the wealthy are freeloaders any more than I believe most of the poor are freeloaders. Most of the wealthy are, IMO, wealthy because they have helped create a great deal of wealth.

Paris HIltons, rich wall street lawyers, millionaire congress critters -- these are the exception, not the rule.

And the impoverished don't need tax revenues to build themselves up. They need opportunities to show the world what they can do. And who have those opportunities typically come from? People who are wealthier than they are who are willing to trade part of the wealth for the services of those who are less wealthy.

I'd have no problem with taxing Paris and the lawyers and the congresspeople at 80 percent ... if someone could show me how to distinguish the useless rich in a reasoned/systematic way from the wealthy who work hard and provide productive value. I dare you, or anyone, to put 100 random American multi-millionaires in a room, all of them strangers to you and to the national media, and pick the 5 or 10 who are useless appendages on society.

IMO it can't be done.

And that means every time we try to punish those useless appendages by progressive taxes or whatever, we're going to take away another chunk of the incentives the non-useless rich have to stay in this country and use their above average skills of creating wealth for us to share.

*THAT* is why I think progressive taxation is about as dumb, and as hubristically ignorant, an idea as man has come up with.

It is less effective than your guillotine would be, less honest, and easier for those useless rich to avoid.


None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
Offline gbguy20  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:02:49 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Porforis Go to Quoted Post
I am inclined to agree with you as far as 10% goes, although I'm sure my ideas on what government should be spending greatly differs from what you or Wade thinks. But I really don't think the government could fund any better than vital transportation, the judicial system, and a third-rate military with money like that. What do you think is a more fair % for the income tax brackets listed in the original post? Whether it's for the country we live in or the ideal country in your mind, I guess that's up to you.


This post brings up my thoughts that most of the governments programs shouldn't exist anyways. Eliminate the tons and tons of social programs and other spending that wastes our tax revenue and you will not need the higher tax brackets.
call me Dan
Online DakotaT  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:15:45 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: gbguy20 Go to Quoted Post
This post brings up my thoughts that most of the governments programs shouldn't exist anyways. Eliminate the tons and tons of social programs and other spending that wastes our tax revenue and you will not need the higher tax brackets.


Care to be more specific on the social programs?

Edited by user Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:30:08 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Online DakotaT  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:29:37 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Because I don't believe most of the wealthy are freeloaders any more than I believe most of the poor are freeloaders. Most of the wealthy are, IMO, wealthy because they have helped create a great deal of wealth.

Paris HIltons, rich wall street lawyers, millionaire congress critters -- these are the exception, not the rule.

And the impoverished don't need tax revenues to build themselves up. They need opportunities to show the world what they can do. And who have those opportunities typically come from? People who are wealthier than they are who are willing to trade part of the wealth for the services of those who are less wealthy.

I'd have no problem with taxing Paris and the lawyers and the congresspeople at 80 percent ... if someone could show me how to distinguish the useless rich in a reasoned/systematic way from the wealthy who work hard and provide productive value. I dare you, or anyone, to put 100 random American multi-millionaires in a room, all of them strangers to you and to the national media, and pick the 5 or 10 who are useless appendages on society.

IMO it can't be done.

And that means every time we try to punish those useless appendages by progressive taxes or whatever, we're going to take away another chunk of the incentives the non-useless rich have to stay in this country and use their above average skills of creating wealth for us to share.

*THAT* is why I think progressive taxation is about as dumb, and as hubristically ignorant, an idea as man has come up with.

It is less effective than your guillotine would be, less honest, and easier for those useless rich to avoid.




You know Wade, you keep insisting that these millionaire/billionaires are the hard working epitomy of what man is suppose to be and we are just horrible people to expect them to be taxed. Well if what you've been saying is true, why is it necessary to have President push for national health care? Surely these righteous men and women that have scaled to the top of humanity would be taking good care of all their employees in terms of wage and insurance and other benefits that ensures the has a good life. Afterall, without the workers the businesses of these people couldn't run or be efficient or even be profitable could they? So is it wrong of me to call them hogs at the trough, or is my judgement accurate?

On the other side of my argument, I have always talked about fairness. Do we really have an even playing field from cradle to grave in this country for everyone? If the answer is yes, then please explain why. Great character is needed for a person to be born in poverty and pull themselves up by the bootstraps. The person born with the silver spoon, not so much, success for this person is a ho-hummer!
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Online DakotaT  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:36:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Porforis Go to Quoted Post
I am inclined to agree with you as far as 10% goes, although I'm sure my ideas on what government should be spending greatly differs from what you or Wade thinks. But I really don't think the government could fund any better than vital transportation, the judicial system, and a third-rate military with money like that. What do you think is a more fair % for the income tax brackets listed in the original post? Whether it's for the country we live in or the ideal country in your mind, I guess that's up to you.


I've already laid it out - married filing jointly - the first $50K is tax free -no deductions or credits thereafter. Single people the first $25K.

Next - you eliminate special incomes at different tax rates. Interest income and income from capital gains is taxed the same as real work income.

Next - no more caps on SS taxes. All income is subject to SS.

The graduated rates start at 15% from $50,001 to $100K and jump a percentage every $50K and cap off at 30%.

We'd be ought of debt in 5 years. Of course the sailboat industry might take a hit. Sarcasm

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