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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    But the marginal and actual (statutory) tax rates are the same for income tax.
    By actual, I was referring to effective.

    Effective and average are essentially the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    IOW, someone in that highest 35% tax bracket pays that rate on all his/her taxable income, not just the portion above some threshold.
    Actually, no, they don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    OK. So what would you suggest the elderly do instead to ensure their needs are met?
    We should increase the age for which people become eligible for these programs.

    We should be means-testing them as well, so only those who need them get them.

    And we need to change the way we look at, understand, and deal with end-of-life care.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    It is sometimes, but not even always more than is paid by the middle-class.
    In real dollar amounts it's always larger. As a percentage of income however is arguable. The near rich are hammered by the taxes aimed at those who have the investment vehicles to avoid them. The dentist down the street gets hit much harder than a hedge fund manager by all this.

    We need a consumption tax like the VAT.

    That is to say, it's not as high as the rates paid in most of the rest of the developed world, not as high as the rates paid in the USA through most of the 20th century
    Lets see some real facts and figures to back this up. Not some article quoting past tax rates from WWII that were necessary (in a way that they aren't now) to address a growing global threat.

    Show me data showing that the effective rates, what people actually end up paying after all the deductions etc.., in the 20th century were that much higher than they are now.

    Show me the same for other countries.

    We have the most progressive tax code in the world.


    These taxes are never bringing people down to zero dollars. In the case of the rich it's not even close to zero dollars. They're still left with far more income than people in the brackets below them.
    So? To someone making 50 grand, 100 grand sounds like a lot. To someone making 200 grand, and whose lifestyle and mortgage payments etc.. require a certain amount of after tax income, 100 grand sounds like a recipe for foreclosure, divorce etc.

    Not to mention you seem oblivious to the negative effects of taxation (or only the rich) at the levels you suggest. The lack of any solid financial foundation to your answers belies an inability to construct real world answers.

    With their income after taxes they obtain wealth, and wealth accumulates. The article mentions that the 20% highest earners have 50% of the country's income. Well they also have 85% of the country's wealth. Accumulation, you see. Those supposedly onerous tax burdens seemingly haven't slowed that gravy train down.
    So? Why do you see wealth accumulation as a problem?

    Saving is a good thing and should be encouraged within our country.

    You see, the value of money doesn't really scale up. I don't have to pay more for goods and services the richer I get.
    Wealthier people buy nicer shit. They do this to the extent that most folks, regardless of what class they are or move to, will save a similar percentage of their income vs how much the spend on other shit.

    Todd used to work at blockbuster and had a small home theater system. He hits the lottery and gets a 25k custom home system from Sound Advice.

    This breaks down a little in the plutocrat class (100 mill and up), but seems to be the case for most of the rest of us.

    Here's the consequence of that. If a man earns $2 million each year and I start taxing his income for 50% (which is more than that guy would be giving), he'll be down to $1 million a year, which means he will continue to live like a king.
    But like a pauper compared to when he was taking home 2mill a year.

    Get ready for revolution if you ever propose to try and take 50% of peoples actual take home pay in taxes.

    If a man earns $20,000 a year and I start taxing him at 10%, he will then be making $18,000 year. At that size of income, a difference of $2000 a year could be the difference between subsistence and homelessness.
    It probably wont given the 99 weeks of unemployment he has available, the exceedingly generous health benefits about to come into play, and the subsidized housing he can apply for. That just touches the surface of the programs he would be eligible for.

    The guy with the low tax rate got the raw deal.
    The guy taking home half of what he makes is getting butt fucked with a splintery broom handle sans lube.

    So the information you cite is clearly supposed to make it sound like the wealthy are being put upon, but the practical result is that they really aren't.
    It's not supposed to make it sound like anything. Numbers don't lie.

    In this instance, they just cast light on things you would rather ignore.

  3. #63
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    We should increase the age for which people become eligible for these programs.

    We should be means-testing them as well, so only those who need them get them.

    And we need to change the way we look at, understand, and deal with end-of-life care.
    Disclaimer: I know this post sounds rude, but it really isn't just towards you. There's a lot of people who pout and whine about this.. These ideas are NOT the source of the problem at all. They're only treating symptoms.

    Have you ever actually gone through this process at all? It isn't like they're shucking these benefits out to everyone that buys a cane from the thrift store..

    When we originally tried to put my grandmother on hospice because of her disorder (Alzheimer's Disease.. a type of dementia that you can not only plainly see on cat scans, but in daily life through behavior) and they kept questioning if my grandmother was actually sound of mind or 'making it up.' As if you can make up a disorder like that.

    When she got up on the bench at court, and she could not even swear in to make a statement because she actually had no idea what the guy swearing her in was saying, the judge FINALLY allowed her to go sit down because she started to cry because she was confused and this was outside of her normal routine and pattern.

    Who determines what is needed or not? Is someone younger with a disease more fit to have benefits than someone older? Are old people just being a bunch of lazy fucks and trying to retire earlier than necessary? Have you worked at the same job for 40..50 years straight and not been so exhausted that life seems dull? I really don't think young people should have much of a say in these matters. The only young people I know that really care about what people *actually* need vs what they *think* people need are the people who have had to watch someone close to them get punked by the system because someone younger and fitter thinks they're just lazy, no good for nothing bums trying to steal their hard-earned money.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Disclaimer: I know this post sounds rude, but it really isn't just towards you. There's a lot of people who pout and whine about this.. These ideas are NOT the source of the problem at all. They're only treating symptoms.

    Have you ever actually gone through this process at all? It isn't like they're shucking these benefits out to everyone that buys a cane from the thrift store..

    When we originally tried to put my grandmother on hospice because of her disorder (Alzheimer's Disease.. a type of dementia that you can not only plainly see on cat scans, but in daily life through behavior) and they kept questioning if my grandmother was actually sound of mind or 'making it up.' As if you can make up a disorder like that.

    When she got up on the bench at court, and she could not even swear in to make a statement because she actually had no idea what the guy swearing her in was saying, the judge FINALLY allowed her to go sit down because she started to cry because she was confused and this was outside of her normal routine and pattern.

    Who determines what is needed or not? Is someone younger with a disease more fit to have benefits than someone older? Are old people just being a bunch of lazy fucks and trying to retire earlier than necessary? Have you worked at the same job for 40..50 years straight and not been so exhausted that life seems dull? I really don't think young people should have much of a say in these matters. The only young people I know that really care about what people *actually* need vs what they *think* people need are the people who have had to watch someone close to them get punked by the system because someone younger and fitter thinks they're just lazy, no good for nothing bums trying to steal their hard-earned money.
    And, no offense to you, but your post doesn't address what I said, and I don't think you understand the US economy, or what is ailing it, particularly well, and I would not look to you as an authority on matters related to it. If your grandmother or your family are not paying for your grandmother's care, then somebody is. In the past, she would have stayed with your family, and eventually died, and society wouldn't have foot any bill. How much is society supposed to pay for each of the millions of other people out there like your grandmother? Cuz the cost of paying for people like her, including us when we get to that age, is too much to bear. I'm not trying to be callous about it, and I'm sorry you, your grandmother, and your family, have had to go through this ordeal, but these are the facts. This isn't politics. It's math.

  5. #65
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    And, no offense to you, but your post doesn't address what I said, and I don't think you understand the US economy, or what is ailing it, particularly well, and I would not look to you as an authority on matters related to it. If your grandmother or your family are not paying for your grandmother's care, then somebody is. In the past, she would have stayed with your family, and eventually died, and society wouldn't have foot any bill. How much is society supposed to pay for each of the millions of other people out there like your grandmother? Cuz the cost of paying for people like her, including us when we get to that age, is too much to bear. I'm not trying to be callous about it, and I'm sorry you, your grandmother, and your family, have had to go through this ordeal, but these are the facts. This isn't politics. It's math.
    But only a small fraction of the increasing Medicare costs are actually a direct result of the aging population. Most of it is coming from increasing medical costs. It's a problem that does not inevitably follow our demographic changes (as suggested by its absence in many welfare states).
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    But only a small fraction of the increasing Medicare costs are actually a direct result of the aging population. Most of it is coming from increasing medical costs. It's a problem that does not inevitably follow our demographic changes (as suggested by its absence in many welfare states).
    I've seen lots of evidence that it is a growing problem in many welfare states.

  7. #67
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    In real dollar amounts it's always larger. As a percentage of income however is arguable.
    I really couldn't care less about real dollar amounts.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The near rich are hammered by the taxes aimed at those who have the investment vehicles to avoid them. The dentist down the street gets hit much harder than a hedge fund manager by all this.
    That is a concern, but the best solution to that is not to give up on progressive taxation.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    We need a consumption tax like the VAT.
    As a replacement to an income tax?


    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Lets see some real facts and figures to back this up. Not some article quoting past tax rates from WWII that were necessary (in a way that they aren't now) to address a growing global threat.

    Show me data showing that the effective rates, what people actually end up paying after all the deductions etc.., in the 20th century were that much higher than they are now.

    Show me the same for other countries.

    We have the most progressive tax code in the world.
    Honestly, I'm not going to bother with your demand. One, I don't keep a big folder of convenient statistics and I don't feel like putting a lot more work into this than I figure I'll get in return. Two, I find you depressing to the point of being demotivating. Three, I'd like to leave more time to focus on some of your rational errors, because I think even if you were completely right on the empirical front, you're suggestions would still probably be terrible as a result of the rational shortcomings of your arguments. I will give you a rundown of how I understand the situation.

    You are right in a sense that the USA has the most progressive tax code (a lot of it having to do with people who don't pay any taxes of certain kinds). I am also still right that our wealthy payer lower rates than that of other countries and less than they did in the past.

    Two things blunt the effects of our progressive tax structure. One is that we have a much lower tax rate overall, which reduces the relevance of its progressiveness. If there were a country where only the top 1% pay any taxes at all, but they paid only 1% of their income in taxes, that country would have a much more progressive tax structure than us, but the practical result would seem far more regressive. You understand?

    The second thing is that the USA has a lot of wealth and income inequality to start with. This is actually in part because we tax so little and because we spend out tax revenues rather unwisely (at least for the purpose of reducing inequality). Higher inequality to begin with requires a tax code to be more progressive to some extent just to keep up.

    These two factors are particularly important in regards to the OP's question, I think.

    As for the USA's history. I believe the marginal tax rates on the top earners spiked during the great depression, peaked during WWII, start declining gradually after words, then plummeted starting in the 80s with some slight up and down to today. It was similar but not identical to the course of the official individual income tax rates. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember seeing it any other way.

    This would be a good opportunity for you to actually research this yourself if you're actually curious (I suspect you aren't).

    Now, how about those rational shortcomings?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So? To someone making 50 grand, 100 grand sounds like a lot. To someone making 200 grand, and whose lifestyle and mortgage payments etc.. require a certain amount of after tax income, 100 grand sounds like a recipe for foreclosure, divorce etc.
    You're trying to frame this as all being relative when it just isn't at all. The effect it has on a person's life to from one million dollars to two million is less significant than the effect of going from 20,000 to 40,000. Can you really not imagine why that would be the case? Think of it as a homework problem. There will be more on this later.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Not to mention you seem oblivious to the negative effects of taxation (or only the rich) at the levels you suggest. The lack of any solid financial foundation to your answers belies an inability to construct real world answers.
    What negative effects do you have in mind? The Laffer Curve? Good luck with that. You can't show me where the vertex of the curve is and you can't find historical evidence that it's ever held true. It's basically a big guess.

    On the other hand, perhaps you're not considering the effects of any alternative. What are the alternatives? As best as I can tell, there are two.

    1: You can shift the tax burden to the middle class and or lower class.
    2: You can stop taking in tax revenue.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that if want revenue you'd take it from the people who have the most money to give. Why try drawing blood from a stone? Even based on the figures you originally posted, you must acknowledge that the rich would have to pay more in taxes than other people just for their tax share to equal their income share, since it's 20% of the population with 50% of the income. I personally see no reason to stop there. You might as well tax people as much as you can without having a noticeable impact on their quality of life. For a lot of the highest earners, that's a lot of money.

    Taxing the middle class would have more of a chilling effect on the economy than taxing the upper class, and if you taxed them without taxing the lower class, you'd actually have a small income base to tax than if you just taxed the upper class. If you tax the lower class, you're just going to turn a large swath of the population into unproductive government dependents because they won't be able to afford the taxes. You will very clearly be losing money by taxing them, so how's that for a Laffer curve?

    Option two isn't worth considering. The USA needs more tax revenue than it's even getting right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So? Why do you see wealth accumulation as a problem?

    Saving is a good thing and should be encouraged within our country.
    It's not so much a problem in and of itself, it just shows how much you could take without it being a problem either. That was the point. Although there is such a thing as excessive saving.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Wealthier people buy nicer shit. They do this to the extent that most folks, regardless of what class they are or move to, will save a similar percentage of their income vs how much the spend on other shit.

    Todd used to work at blockbuster and had a small home theater system. He hits the lottery and gets a 25k custom home system from Sound Advice.

    This breaks down a little in the plutocrat class (100 mill and up), but seems to be the case for most of the rest of us.
    People generally save a larger percentage of their income the more they make. In other words, people really don't match their spending to their income. This isn't a surprise because there's no motivation to do so. As I've said, the price of goods and services do not scale up. When I said that I was even accounting for buying nicer shit. Eventually, if you get really rich, you will literally have enough money to purchase more than you can comprehend, so the motivation to spend beyond that point is rather low.

    Again, each dollar you make is less important. Look at it this way. If you go from having no car, to having one car, that's a much more profound impact on your life than going from one car to two cars, even though having two cars costs more money. That's even more true in the case of a home. One home is more significant than two homes. The amount of real wealth and real opportunity that money opens up to you simply declines. Once I'm making a million a year, making two million a year would only make my life mildly more luxurious as far as I could tell. Making a leap from 10,000 a year to 20,00 a year, though the same ration of increase, would probably change me from being a bum to being an independent subsisting citizen.

    How many times and ways will these need to be explained to you?

    This has a serious economic impact, too. I've already eluded to it earlier in the thread. People who aren't making enough money become weak links who drain on the economy. And money that piles up with wealthy people who spend less and less of their income is basically dead money. You can't even count on it being in an American bank because it might be in Swizterland or the Cayman islands. In this way, it is immediately beneficial to reduce the amount of money that is dead money and put it into reducing the number of people who are weak links. It's just more efficient. It's one of the most obvious reason for some degree of redistributive policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    But like a pauper compared to when he was taking home 2mill a year.
    Not really. His life wouldn't change that much. An additional million a year just doesn't have much of a purpose. And his life of course would be vastly better than could be imagined by a super majority of Americans, so boo-fucking-hoo.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Get ready for revolution if you ever propose to try and take 50% of peoples actual take home pay in taxes.
    Oy. It was just a mathematical example.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It probably wont given the 99 weeks of unemployment he has available, the exceedingly generous health benefits about to come into play, and the subsidized housing he can apply for. That just touches the surface of the programs he would be eligible for.
    Right, which plays into a point I was making above. By taxing him you'd just make him a government dependent. It would be a totally stupid idea. If there was no social safety net the results wouldn't be much better.

    I do disagree with your choice of words, though. Exceedingly generous health benefits. You're a real joker. Also, I've known people who would have liked to have had 99 weeks of unemployment, but never anyone that had 99 weeks of unemployment.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The guy taking home half of what he makes is getting butt fucked with a splintery broom handle sans lube.
    Clarify this for me.

    Do you think it's worse to go from making one million a year to two million a year, than it is to go from being a independent subsisting citizen to having to live within the means of government benefits you depend on to survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's not supposed to make it sound like anything. Numbers don't lie.
    Hah, yeah. Figures don't lie, but liars figure. These numbers appeared here because you put them here, and you put them here to further a political opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    In this instance, they just cast light on things you would rather ignore.
    What have I ignored, exactly?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #68
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I've seen lots of evidence that it is a growing problem in many welfare states.
    Just to toss one out there, I don't believe Canada is. Anyhow, you didn't respond to what was actually the central and more important point.

    Go to sleep, iguana.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Just to toss one out there, I don't believe Canada is.
    You made it sound like there were so many.

    And the one you toss out there you aren't even sure of?

    A different take: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...ign-care-homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Anyhow, you didn't respond to what was actually the central and more important point.
    I wasn't aware I had to.

    I don't deny that fact.

  10. #70
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I've seen lots of evidence that it is a growing problem in many welfare states.
    It's a matter of interpretation. There is never ever *enough* money. Not in a company, not as an individual, not as a state, not as a program, not as a charity. There are bounds.

    The US has the exact same problem, except the cost is semi-transparent because the individual carries it. Ultimately it is a lot worse in the US because of its low efficiency. A system without enough money is an issue; people dying because they can't afford the care that would of prevented it is also an issue.

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