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Is It Time For A Wealth Tax?

Mitt Romney says he pays a tax rate near 15 percent. Nice, if you can get it. We’ll look at a controversial proposal to tax the super rich on their income and their wealth.

Money (401k/Flickr)

Money (401k/Flickr)

So, Mitt Romney is worth maybe a quarter billion dollars, considers $375,000 in speaking fees a pittance, parks millions in the Cayman Islands, and pays fifteen percent, maybe, on his income – while the average American living much lower on the totem pole pays 25 to 35 percent. Wow.

Not a pretty picture. And then, his plans for the country would further cut taxes for million-plus earners, we’re told, and balloon the national deficit. My guest today says this isn’t working. We need a new way.

This hour, On Point: one conservative’s plan to tax the rich directly on their wealth.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ronald McKinnon, professor of International Economics, Stanford University. His recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal January is “The Conservative Case for a Wealth Tax.”

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a conservative economic policy think tank. Commissioner on the Congressionally-chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. From 2001 to 2002 he was chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush.

Donald Marron, director, Tax Policy Center, which is a branch of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute. Former member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush and a former acting director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Highlights

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney says that his own tax rate is around 15 percent, even though his total worth is estimated at around $250 million. A new tax proposal would lower the nation’s marginal tax rate, while applying an addition tax on so-called “accumulated wealth.”

While income is hard to measure and tax, “you can define wealth quite easily,” said Ronald McKinnon, a professor of International Economics, Stanford University and self-described conservative.

“Republicans all say that they want a flat income tax but have forgotten that you need to raise revenue,’ McKinnon said. His proposed wealth tax – on the top 5 percent of the country’s most-wealthy — would achieve the goal of flattening the marginal income tax rate, while the wealth tax would be seen by the public as fairer than other options.

The wealth tax hasn’t gained much traction – in fact, a McKinnon op-ed in the Wall Street Journal stirred up a hornet’s nest of ire from conservatives. “We’ve had some experience with wealth taxes in the United States – we’ve had an estate tax for many years,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a conservative economic policy think tank. “There’s a growing body of literature that shows that it is far from a benign instrument of social justice…it inhibits overall wealth creation.”

All the remaining Republican presidential candidates have proposed both cutting and flattening taxes. But those changes would have an immediate and negative impact on the nation’s budget deficit, said Donald Marron, director, Tax Policy Center, which is a branch of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute.

Those cuts would have an immediate impact on the nation’s budget deficit, said Marron. Romney’s plan would increase the deficit by between $200 billion and $600 billion in a single year, Marron said. .Tax plans by Gingrich and Santorum would increase the deficit by between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion, depending on how those impacts are calculated, he said.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Under growing pressure from rival Republicans to release his tax returns, Mitt Romney said on Tuesday that he paid a tax rate approaching 15 percent on his millions of dollars in annual income but said he would not make public his full return until April.”

Wall Street Journal “Prof. Ronald McKinnon’s suggestion (“The Conservative Case for a Wealth Tax,” op-ed, Jan. 9) that a modest wealth tax can be a conservative policy tool is mistaken. Governments use new tools of taxation to grow spending, the reason conservatives oppose a value-added tax.

Los Angeles Times “President Obama is right to insist on the “Buffett rule”: Millionaires should not be paying income tax at a rate lower than their secretaries’. But correcting this inequity is only a small step toward fairness.”

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  • http://www.TaxNetWealth.com/ Eugene Patrick Devany

    There is “[a] Conservative Case for a Wealth Tax” (WSJ, Jan. 9, 2012) but Stanford University Professor Ronald McKinnon has not formulated it well. In addition, his suggestion for a 3% wealth tax on top of the current progressive income tax is
    not very conservative.

    My “2-4-8 Tax Plan” is something a true conservative (and many liberals) might embrace. In August of 2006, I made the following suggestion to the President’s Advisory Panel on Tax Reform: tax Net Individual Wealth at 2%, Consumption/Sales
    at 4% and Income at 8%. 

    Please try to think outside the box before you react. The
    2-4-8 Tax Plan applies the exact same rates to the rich and poor. There are no deductions. There are no tax brackets. There are no tax credits or entitlements. There is no favoritism. It would yield about $2.6 trillion per year (slightly more than the current combination of Income, Social Security, gasoline and other federal taxes and fees).
    Opinion pieces from academics have recommended European style wealth tax surcharges on the wealthy. These have been around for over a century and are often described as socialistic – at least in the government’s blatant effort to redistribute the wealth of a few to entitlements for many. These ill-considered proposals to tax only the wealthy are just as inequitable as the so called “Fair Tax” attempt to impose a national 30% sales tax (tax inclusive) which would devastate the poor. The Fair Tax  adjustment for basic necessities also requires the creation of an almost half trillion dollar entitlement program to send monthly welfare (I mean “rebate”) checks to most Americans.

    A 2% wealth tax and 4% national sales tax can be a conservative trade off for reducing the corporate and individual income tax rates to 8% and the elimination of gift, estate and capital gains taxes.

    I really would like to know what the esteemed guests think about the 2-4-8 Tax Plan.

    Eugene Patrick
    Devany, JD, MPA

    Massapequa Park,
    NY
    http://www.TaxNetWealth.com
    (516) 804-9308

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Which side of litigation do you make the majority of your money from, company or victim?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        This has bearing on how we consider your position.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    No new taxes until spending is under control.  Once spending is cut to 18% of GDP and economic growth is restored we can raise new revenues to pay down the tremendous debt overhang we are under.  Congress has proven untrustworthy to trade current  tax increases for future spending cuts.

    • Zero

      There is negative impact that accompanies cuts.  If you are making cuts you are cutting jobs and wages, thus weakening demand.  Individual tax hikes on the rich is not bloody likely to have any negatives at all.  It won’t make a dent in their lifestyle; it’s not going to hurt consumerism.  Moreover, nothing will reduce the deficit faster. 

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        I understand the point you are making.  However, I am certain there can be cuts that will have very little impact on the economy.  For instance, a graduated 5-20% cut on all federal pay would give meaningful savings with no job loss.

        Regarding the tax increase, I agree that the uber rich wouldn’t notice a small increase in rates but it will have little impact on the deficit.  For instance, Obama’s millionaire tax proposal to pay for payroll tax holiday would only raise $11B.  We have a $1.2T deficit.

        What is really needed is real pro-growth tax reform that throws out the 72,000 page tax code and provides meaningful reduction in compliance costs.

        • Zero

          Cutting federal pay weakens consumerism.  If you take 3% out of a federal employee’s pay check, the federal employee curtails his or her spending.  The only exception is if the federal employee is making in the 6 figure range.

          What is uber rich?  I didn’t notice anyone making $250,000 and above curtail his or her spending habits during the Clinton years.  (And I would have noticed because I grew up in the top tax bracket during those years.)  The revenue impact would be a lot greater if we just raised the top tax bracket.  Personally, if it were my world, I would tax 1 million and up at 49% (with no exceptions) and $250,000 to $999,999 40% (with charitable donation exceptions).

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            I was proposing a graduated cut in pay.

              Maybe you haven’t been to DC lately but the local economy in DC is doing just fine so we don’t need to prop up consumerism there.

          • Zero

            Okay fine. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ONE city?  Where the RICH LOBBYIESTS are?  That’s your example?  Why not use Dubai, where they’re building an inside snow park in the desert?

          • William

            But federal workers have to be paid by taking money out of the private sector. A person working in the private sector generates his salary by generating wealth either by selling his services or a product. Any reduction in the pay of federal workers would stimulate the economy and not hurt it.

          • Anonymous

            You know what, lets have the world your way. Lets see, no federal workers. I guess the first to go would be the military as they take the largest chunk of federal payroll. Now lets do away with all those border patrols, safety inspectors, Health and Human Services, the CDC, the EPA, State Department. While we are at it lets do away with the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Justice, ICE, FDA (which could use some reforming but that’s another story.) SEC on the local level lets get rid of the police, fire and health departments, and sanitation.

            Well now, there we have it all those private sector dollars are now back in the private sector. Now what.

          • William

            Did I say no federal workers? Let’s have it your way. We all work for the local, state or federal government. Why do we need the private sector? It did not work for the Communists countries, but what the heck, let’s give it a shot huh?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Rick Waggoner and ALL the other CEOs that got BONE-USes, for bankrupting their company, selling WHAT service?

          • Zero

            The private sector depends on demand before anything else, hence the laws of supply and demand.  Not only does the public sector provide necessary services that often attract private corporations, but the public sector also provides added demand.

            Moreover, public employees pay taxes too; republicans seem to ignore that fact.

          • William

            The public sector is a support role for the economy. They have grown too big, too expensive and too inept. The private sector creates the wealth and the Democrats seem to ignore that fact.

    • Fredlinskip

      You can’t cut your way out of trillions of dollars in debt. It’s not possible.
      Reestablish a tax more in line with the past when America AS A WHOLE did better, not just the most affluent.
      The wealthy will still be plenty wealthy.

      A trillion is a million million.
      Cutting food stamps isn’t going to do it.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        We’ve discussed ad naseum.   The math doesn’t work.  The top 1% pay 37% of the income taxes already.  The bottom 47% pay 0% of the income taxes.  We have a $1.2T deficit.  Rescinding the Bush tax cuts only on the top rate payers will only raise an additional $100B per year.  Now how do we solve the next $1.1T?  Of course, then there is the debt to be solved with the likely return of massive inflation to compound the issue.

        Bottom line; we are screwed.

        • Fredlinskip

          No matter what our course of action the problem will not be solved tomorrow.  It would have been better to tackle these problems in times of economic strength- It’s not as if our “leaders” shouldn’t have seen it coming.
          It’s time for the upper income brackets pay more of their share. Raising their rates won’t mean they pay that percentage, as their still are countless loopholes to exploit. As I would HOPE you know many large corps pay zero tax and many next to zero  currently. And you’re concerned about too much regulation?? How about a law that says they need pay their fair share?

          Question, when taxes for higher income brackets was 95% under that great socialist comi dictator Eisenhower do you actually think there were people paying 95%??? The purpose of the tax was so that the wealthy would exploit the loophole (yes regulation) THAT ENCOURAGED THEM TO REINVEST IN AMERICA.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The 6 Walton heirs (Wal-Mart), get MORE money annually than 30% of the U.S. !
             The top .5% get MORE than 50%!
             They WHINE about paying 37%?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ‘W’ admin. CUT TAXES, and INCREASED SPENDING! 
          ‘W’ admitted the Budget Surplus, while campaigning in 2000, then put us FAR into debt!

  • Michiganjf

    “Here and Now’s” Robin Young had an excellent segment yesterday on how and why Romney pays a 15% tax rate.

    … it’s just one more fine example of how the wealthiest in this country have pieced together a perfect little system for themselves, ensuring they continue to amass an ever growing slice of the American pie.

    There are some enlightening machinations of the wealthy described here, so give it a good listen!

    http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/01/18/christie-romney-tax

    • Michiganjf

      Just check out On Points recent show on “Dirty Politics and Big Money” for an idea of the ways in which “The Club for the Rich” rigs the game for their own private and exclusive benefit, bestowing temporary Visas into the Land of the Wealthy unto politicians who “play ball” by the Club Rules.The wealth, savings, and homes of the middle-class are fodder for the super-wealthy to milk at will:-The market goes down, the wealthy make a bundle while the rest of America gets wiped out-The market goes up, the wealthy make 99% of the profit-The middle class saves money, the wealthy use institutionalized gambling to leverage those savings at absurd risk for their own gain, hedging the leverage they take so they’re richly rewarded, even if the sorry middle-class suckers’ savings get wiped out-Got a good job? Wait a while… a private equity firm will see that your employer is liquidated for a nice tax write-off; or maybe they’ll restructure and send your job off to China to improve the value of their executive preferred stock options and “advisory fees”-Need cheap gas or food to make ends meet? Well, a nicely cornered commodity and some specualtive maneuvering will see to it that oil jumps $30 to make someone billions almost overnight; or perhaps the same with wheat, or corn, or pork-You’d like to see that decaying bridge fixed so you don’t end up having to add an hour to your commute? Well, Government’s broke because the wealthy needed another tax cut… or perhaps a few million tossed by industry lobbyists saw to it that those infrastructure dollars were spent on corporate subsidies instead of the bridge.Okay, Okay… you get the point!

      …OR DO YOU???!!!

    • Michiganjf

      Just check out On Points recent show on “Dirty Politics and Big Money” for an idea of the ways in which “The Club for the Rich” rigs the game for their own private and exclusive benefit, bestowing temporary Visas into the Land of the Wealthy unto politicians who “play ball” by the Club Rules.

      The wealth, savings, and homes of the middle-class are fodder for the super-wealthy to milk at will:

      -The market goes down, the wealthy make a bundle while the rest of America gets wiped out

      -The market goes up, the wealthy make 99% of the profit

      -The middle class saves money, the wealthy use institutionalized gambling to leverage those savings at absurd risk for their own gain, hedging the leverage they take so they’re richly rewarded, even if the sorry middle-class suckers’ savings get wiped out

      -Got a good job? Wait a while… a private equity firm will see that your employer is liquidated for a nice tax write-off; or maybe they’ll restructure and send your job off to China to improve the value of their executive preferred stock options and “advisory fees”

      -Need cheap gas or food to make ends meet? Well, a nicely cornered commodity and some specualtive maneuvering will see to it that oil jumps $30 to make someone billions almost overnight; or perhaps the same with wheat, or corn, or pork

      -You’d like to see that decaying bridge fixed so you don’t end up having to add an hour to your commute? Well, Government’s broke because the wealthy needed another tax cut… or perhaps a few million tossed by industry lobbyists saw to it that those infrastructure dollars were spent on corporate subsidies instead of the bridge.

      Okay, Okay… you get the point!

      …OR DO YOU???!!!

      • Michiganjf

        Here’s another case for why the extremely wealthy should pay higher taxes:

        Every single dollar earned by the wealthy consumes at least some of the limited resources of this planet, or what one might call “planetary legacy.”

        Whether in paper resources, mineral, energy, rubber, asphalt, petroleum, water, LAND (which is highly limited), food for workers, etc…, resources of some sort are consumed for every dollar earned. Also, some degree of pollution is likely produced.Since this is the case and we live on a planet of limited resources, one must question why our society allows the wealthy to use up a disproprtional amount of “planetary legacy” for their own personal benefit.

        In other words, a very few are costing the vast majority of current and future generations quite a bit of their planetary legacy.They have no right to do this, EXCEPT that our society never gave much thought to what the wealthy really cost the rest of the world and future generations.

         Yes, entrepreneurship itself creates value, but just how much do all future and current generations on Earth owe a single entrepreneur? Should one entrepreneur be allowed to bleed the planet for tens of thousands, or even millions of times the resource cost of the average individual? Our society lets a single wealthy person do exactly that!

        My contention is that the wealthy owe the rest (current and future) due to the very fact that our society allows these few to amass so much unto themselves, for their own private and selfish benefit.

        If they are forced to pay back this debt to society in the form of higher proportional taxes, so be it. They SHOULD be forced to pay restitution for the disproportionate amount of limited resources they are allowed to consume, and tax is the easiest, most equitable way for them to do it.

        Even when paying increased taxes, the wealthy still amass wealth and enjoy its benefits beyond the wildest dreams of the vast majority of us.

        The wealthy in the U.S. have no legitimate basis for complaint, since our society is more fair to these individuals than nearly any other nation on Earth, despite what these individuals cost current and future generations in terms of “planetary legacy.”

        The wealthy in America will still have the best of all worlds, despite being asked to PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE, as per this simple, logical argument

  • Zero

    Since we have a special tax for investors, why can’t we have a special tax for  athletes? Any athlete or coach making over $250,000 pays 50% taxes, and any one over a million pays 60% or so.

    Is this possible?  And I believe there can’t possibly be an economic argument against it, so does anyone have a moral argument? 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Are you serious?

      I don’t like lawyers.  There are too many of them.  Let’s tax them at 90%.  :)

      You understand why  long term capital gains and dividends are taxed at a lower rate?   It is purely for the greater good.  The economic system survives on capital investment so we need to encourage capital to be put at risk.  Dividends have already been taxed once with the corporate tax (at up to 35%) so the effective rate on dividends is actually up to 50%.  Finally, long term capital gains are not inflation adjusted.  Therefore, it is possible to be required to pay a tax on a loss in real terms.

      There is a real argument to close the loophole on carried interest.  Carried interest is the gain the hedge funds make on their cut on capital their customer put at risk.  That should probably be treated as regular income instead of the current 15%.  There have been four attempts to close this loophole in the past few years.  Do you know who blocked it each time?  Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. [I'm sure there GOP co-conspirators but I don't know their names].

      • Fredlinskip

        I personally don’t like laws. Why should we need them. What laws ever did anybody any good. If it wasn’t for laws all our problems would be solved, I say.

      • Zero

        First, you are falsely combining corporate tax and individual tax.  It seems to be a habit in the republican party to think that an individual income is a business income.  If you take home a million on investments, you pay 39% (or whatever) on it, and continue to invest.  In fact, a higher tax rate on investors could actually stimulate more investing, being that the investor wants to make what he or she once did.  This phenomena that capital gains should be taxed lower than labor started with the first Bush.  Before that, we have had fine economies without it. 

        In fact, I would like for one republican to explain why Eisenhower had the best economy this country has ever had with extremely high individual tax rates on the rich?  By today’s republican logic, a 91% tax rate on the rich (which is what Eisenhower did) would end modern civilization as we know it. 

        —————————————–
        Also, what is wrong with taxing athletes higher?  They’ll still be rich, so what’s your problem?  Isn’t kind of backwards that we allow the college football coach to make more money than the professor?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I think this abstraction will help you with the dividend.  Let’s say you are the 100% owner of company X.  You pay 35% on your profits in corporate tax.  You then take a dividend and pay another 15% for a total of 50%.  Alternatively, as owner I could take my entire profit as salary and forgo the corp. tax (since I now have no profit) and simply pay the top marginal rate of 35% for a net saving of 15%.  Which would you choose if you owned the business?

          Even Obama doesn’t want to raise the dividend tax.  Apparently he understands the merits.

          • Zero

            No, the corporation pays 35%, then the corporation pays the CEO, the CEO’s paycheck is subject to the individual code.  The corporation the whole time pays 35%.  The CEO making $14 million per se pays 35% as well.  The corporation is not paying 70%.  If you own a private corporation–the corporate account is taxed 35% (corporate tax); the surplus that goes to the owner is taxed on the individual rate.  Again, an individual tax is never a business tax unless one is dumb enough to run a small business out of a personal account. 

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Employee salaries are expenses subtracted from the income to calculate the profit.  Therefore, I think my model was correct.  However, there may be some cap on destructibility of salaries of high paid employees.

            The tax code is 72,000 so I’m certain there are thousands of variations of tax schemes with deferred payments, etc.

          • Zero

            No doubt employee wages are a factor, but the wages-to-corporate profit ratio right now is the same as it was right before the depression.  But that is a different argument.  So say a corporation doesn’t do good one year, and so it pays the CEO 2 million instead of 14 million.  The corporation still maintains the same budget even though it was a bad year, but the CEO still makes 2 million, which would then be taxed on the individual rate.  

            Corporations for some reason or another feel that they must pay their CEOs in the tens of millions in order to keep talent put.  I think that is rather foolish.  Business ain’t rocket science, but corporations think there are less good businessmen then rocket scientists.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I agree that celebrity salaries are outrageous but I certainly don’t want to regulate pay for select industries via the tax code or any other mechanism.

          Why do you pick athletes and coaches?  Why not movie director and movie stars?  News anchors? Book authors?  Ex Presidents with an $80M speaking fee war chest?

          I doubt targeted income tax by industry would be legal but even if it could pass constitutional muster I would consider it unamerican.

          • Zero

            Okay, good point.  But, your last paragraph (which I agree with) can be said of our current system of targeting tax breaks.

  • Fredlinskip

        Obviously the wealthiest 2 to 3 % should be worshiped for their divinity. It matters not if they were the financial wizards that engineered the financial collapse or what ethics brought them their fortunes, if we can just get them some more $ the economy will magically rebound and employment will vastly improve, as is the obvious power of “trickle-up” economics.
    If anything, everyone else should be taxed to provide them directly with more $ as we do with our oil industry.
        
        Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a thousand fishes and he’ll buy off a politician and make sure there’s a fish shortage everywhere but his house.

    • notafeminista

      Only if he lives in Soviet Russia. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      SPOT ON!!

  • Zero

    “Worried for the Country”–this list is from 4 months ago, but even though it is slightly outdated, I think it can be helpful.  Here are the leading drivers of the debt according to the CBO:

    1. The 2001/2003 tax cuts;
    2. The overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan;
    3. Medicare Part D;
    4. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP);
    5. The 2009 stimulus;
    6. The December 2010 tax legislation.

    Obviously, Operations in Iraq are over.  But I wonder if Afghanistan would still top Medicare Part D.  And of course, Obama just signed deep cuts to the military budget.  Also, Obamacare addresses Medicare Part D.

    I believe we will see debt reduction once we correct the things that are actually driving our debt.  I don’t see food stamps, welfare, teacher wages, Social Security, heating assistance, etc on the list (but I don’t know what the 7th leading debt).

    Correcting the top three would reduce the deficits significantly.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Maybe we’ll finally see a budget soon and then we discuss real numbers.  Somewhere these numbers need to add up to this years $1.2T deficit that we are borrowing substantially from China.

      For all the press about the debt ceiling fight last year no cuts in real spending were achieved.

      I see TARP is on the list.  I thought TARP was paid back with interest?   Hmmmm.

      • Zero

        Guess who wrote TARP?  You think Obama would have written TARP the same way…hell no, Obama would have stipulated the hell out of it, like he did for the auto bailout.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I was simply asking why TARP is still contributing to the deficit?  It was a fixed amount lent out and now has been paid back.   Even if it wasn’t all paid back it shouldn’t be part of this years deficit.  The last year it should have had an impact was 2009.

          • Zero

            The list is debt drivers.  I tried to infer that the items contributing to the deficit are the top 3. 

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Got it.  Thanks.

        • Gregg

          Senator Obama voted for it. President Obama implemented half of it. It was “stipulated” the money be paid back to the treasury but Obama took the money that has been paid back and threw it down a “stimulus” rat hole.

        • Modavations

          Did you ever see how he holds a pen.

          • Yar

            Is this intended as a personal criticism of our president?  Do you dislike the man so much that you disdain the way he holds a pen?      Do you see him as your president?  Do you respect the position, the person, the office?  We owe civility toward all. 

          • Modavations

            I hate rascists

          • Anonymous

            Is this you saying you hate yourself.

          • Yar

            How do you define racism?

          • Anonymous

            or spell it

          • Modavations

            When leftists say you are inferior,you are incapableI must hold your hand through life.I say don’t listen to the rascist,you are capable.Let me teach you to fish

          • Yar

            “Let me teach you to fish”  Isn’t that holding your hand through life?  It is an example of investment in education.  

            No,  racism is not feeling one is better than another.  Racism is using the power of position to hold back those of another race.  You have to have power to be racist.  Without power you are simply angry.  Are you racist or just angry?  How do you use your power?  Why does it matter how a man holds his pen?

          • nj

            “Rascists”

          • Modavations

            I especially disdain a Party who has made a racket out of keeping “poor people poor”.I appologize about the pen.But seriously,who writes like that

          • nj

            “appologize”

            Seriously, who writes like that?

          • lefty

            Because he is left handed as are a good portion of other humans as well. Do you have a problem with left-handed people?

          • Modavations

            Only if that’s there politics too.

          • lefty

            Lefty’s are the only people in their right minds

          • nj

            “there politics”

            Seriously, who writes like that?

          • nj

            Did you ever see how Modatroll types a sentence?

      • Zero

        …and the deficit is seriously still at $1.2 trillion.  I thought it was higher?  Interestingly, that is the same deficit amount that Obama inherited along with GDP contracting at 8%, two wars, and an European economic debt crisis.  …Obama’s doing better than I thought.

        Jesus…Bush took over with a surplus and then Cheney came along and said, “Deficits don’t matter.”  And all of the sudden democrats are the fiscally irresponsible ones. 

        I don’t mean to be too rude to you because you are a reasonable republican, and it is much more pleasurable debating with you (instead of trying to convince Modavations that democrats are not Islamic communists trying to kill black people and babies).

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I may not be reasonable but I’m not a republican. :)

          • Zero

            You sure do walk and quack like a republican.

          • Modavations

            Only to the politboro crowd is this a crime

          • Gregg

            I’m not either but I’ve been accused of it…. being a Republican that is, no accused me of being reasonable.

  • Yar

    The bible says young men dream while old men have visions.  I think it means old men don’t sleep very well.  Here is an early morning old man’s rant.

    It doesn’t matter where our taxes come from or even if we use inflation to pay them, the energy always comes from the bottom up.  Money is just a number, it isn’t a value.  Debt is only a number, interest, a number, individually the numbers seem real, when we are put out of of our house, or the interest on our school loans lowers our standard of living. However, nationally, “we are what we produce”, not in numbers of stocks traded or interest paid, but in products made, crops grown, coal mined, oil or gas exploited. This is our nations wealth; all energy comes from the sun, or stars when nuclear energy is considered, either way, the sun is a star.  
    We can go ‘bankrupt” nationally, where we quit educating our young, we stop providing for the elderly, or caring for the sick and disabled.  It is a moral bankruptcy, not a monetary one.  A nation is not like a family, the economics don’t directly compare.  To make a valid nation as family economic comparison  one has to imagine the family on an island that can’t be left. A closed economy, money can be shells, gold, paper, it doesn’t matter, it is a closed economy.

    What is money?  I claim its purpose is: To trade work over time. 
    What is work? I believe it is: Providing a good or service that is needed.

    What matters nationally, is that we continue to trade work over time.  This is where our nation is failing and we are headed toward civil war.  We are using the concept of debt to renege on our commitments of trading work over time. We politically plan to not take care of the sick, the disabled or elderly, not educate the next generation.  At least politically we want to pretend like the family on our island has built a fence across it and part of the family will starve while others  live on the work everyone else provides.  Call it venture capital, vulture capital, finance, market returns, the name isn’t what counts, it is the concept of exploiting others for individual gain.  This is where the concept of taxes and who pays or doesn’t becomes a shell game.  

    Who pays taxes?  People who do the work,  the illegal who picks the tomato, the low wage worker who puts it on your hamburger, the miner who dug the coal, the electric plant worker who shoveled it into the furnace.  Who lives off of this labor?  All of us, the golfer, the doctor, the lawyer, the computer scientist, the insurance salesman.  90 percent of our economy is service, some of it is fiction, such as growth from finance.  In an island economy, “we are what we produce.”  
    I just popped a bubble, does it change anything?  We must stop destroying wealth, turning work into trash.  We must properly adjust how we value different types of work. Is putting a ball through a net really worth what claim it is?  We must stop this generational civil war before it explodes violently.
    Time for sleep.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      Thank you.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      Yar, I remember this post from earlier today.  There are a few reasons I’m responding to it.  One, it’s a first thread post, so my thoughts don’t get squeezed to the right, second I would like to recruit you to continue developing this thought and seek your permission to post it as an essay on my site, and third I want to respond to your comments on a different thread about polarization.   I’m seeking response on a section of my research proposal which hints at a major cause of polarization.

      No Do Overs

      The existing media model requires the politician and citizen to get their opinion correct the first time. There are no do overs. This may explain why elected representatives narrow the problem and stick to a script written by party linguist.  The lack of a do over enables each argument to be framed in what George Orwell called double speak. Example include the Clean Air Act, No Child Left Behind, and trickle-down economics. Framing works when politicians are not accountable. When they are not given a second chance for explanation.

      Double speak or framing an argument disguises the problem. It causes polarization which prevents individuals from working together to solve a problem. Frames like class warfare and taxing the rich disguise the real problem of public funding for social democracy and a representative government. It hides the disparity of tax between income and investment profits.

      Few problems are solved the first time. Accountability is discounted when elected officials are given one chance. Problem solving is an iterative process where mistakes are many, where collateral understanding comes with time, where alternatives are examined, and the final solution will change. A new media must facilitate the do over.

      • Yar

        To be useful a new media must reach a wide range of thought.  The beauty of On Point is, they have radio access into many points of view.  The internet is so large that it is difficult maintain a diverse forum.  It tends to self sort in to like minded people.

        The use of any of my work should reference where it is originally published. This blog has a link for each comment.    For example my comment above is:
        http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/01/19/is-it-time-for-a-wealth-tax#comment-415070738

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          Yar, I’m not interested in your work for personal gain. And refuse to post it on my site without your effort.  I’m interested in you refining it for the higher purpose of sapience. I believe you are onto something.  It is not my job to complete it.  On Point is not the forum to develop the thought.  You can do it on your own, you can recruit others to help, or you can do nothing.  I’m offering help to build the quality of thought necessary for higher demographics.  Your thought is a start, but it is not complete.  It lacks purpose.  It lacks direction. The public is worthy of your thought, but not in the present form.

          It’s suggestion.  Otherwise, I’ve enjoyed your point of view. 

  • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

    The media needs a do over on this argument.  It needs to be seen from a different perspective far removed from the existing polarization.

    It’s time for some serious analysis.  The argument is not about taxing the rich or class warfare.  It’s about evening public funding between taxed income and investment income.

    Social democracy or representative government must be paid for, roads and infrastructure must be paid for, libraries and public schools must be paid for, a social safety net must be paid for.  The media has a part to play in this argument.  Catering to the polarization is not the answer.  Framing a serious problem where it can be analysed from many angles is required.  Please, those fortunate to acquire public attention needs to take this debate serious.  Step away from the political mayhem and start engaging the public in a workable solution.

  • Still Here

    The problem the government has is the spending not the revenues.  
    Lower tax rates on investment income encourages savings and investment which are necessary to maintain our economy’s growth by supporting innovation.  A consumption-based VAT on discretionary items would likely do the same.  

  • Fredlinskip

    Is there anyone out there naive enough to think that when tax for higher income brackets under that great comi socialist dictator Eisenhower was 95%, anyone was actually paying 95%?

    The purpose of the tax was for the wealthy to be encouraged to exploit that loophole (yes- regulation) that ENCOURAGED THEM TO REINVEST IN AMERICA.

    • notafeminista

      If they weren’t actually paying 95% what’s the point of having a 95% tax rate?  Isn’t that what people are railing against in the first place?

    • Anonymous

      Bob Hope famously revealed that he paid 90%.

      I agree that we should be encouraging reinvestment rather than sending all that cash to Uncle Sam to wisely spend as He sees fit.

      • Modavations

        Tell the class why you think JFK lowered the rates.Goggle JFK’s economic speeches and tell us your opinion of what he was speaking

  • MakeItSimple

    Let’s make it simple:
    1) We have had 15% tax rates on capital gains for years.
    2) The econmy crashed and devistated millions of peoples lives, families, homes, careers, and their children’s chances at college.
    3) There were zero jobs added between 2000 and 2010.

    Is this what we want? Does this make any sense?

  • Anonymous

    7:44AM and there are already 41 commnents… wait this makes 42. There’s a lot of passion in this issue.

    Since over 2/3′s of Americans want higher rates for the wealty, this would have been a no brainer.

    Then theirs the No New Taxes Mythology of Ronald Reagan…

    “We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?” – Ronald Reagan June 6, 1985

    • Ray in VT

      I think that it really does speak to the strength of feeling that many people have on this issue.  I’ve heard some similar quotes from Reagan, but did you see on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago when Eric Cantor’s Chief of Staff, or something, deny that Reagan raised taxes?  I think that there is a lot of denial in politics, and you would think that seeing as how Speaker Boehner said that they were going to listen to the American people, then, given the popularity of such proposals in polls, would make this an issue that they should support.

      • Anonymous

        Well that’s an out right lie. Did the interviewer on 60 minutes mention that it’s a well known fact that Reagen raised taxes 11 times during his two terms. He also raised the debt ceiling 18 times and tripled the deficit.

        Facts are stubborn things.
        John Adams

        • Ray in VT

          I think she said that Reagan raised taxes several times, but I don’t know if she gave the exact number.

    • notafeminista

      Hum.  Over 2/3s over Americans want higher tax rates for the wealth.  No surprise there as these days wealthy seems to be defined as anyone with more money than the guy wanting higher tax rates.

      Smells like the tyranny of the majority to me.

      • Ray in VT

        Well boo hoo for the wealthy.  If you want to throw out numbers, then how about incomes over $250k/year, or maybe even a million per year.  The tax code has some serious holes in it, and it’s not just on things like capital gains.  The son of a guy that I work with used to do taxes for some NHL guys.  The league minimum was $450k/year back in 2006-2007, and they paid zero federal income taxes.  Do you want to argue that those guys shouldn’t be paying more than zero?

        • notafeminista

          I want to argue that you have no business decided someone should pay taxes because “it’s not fair” that they don’t.    “It’s not fair” is a child’s argument.

          • notafeminista

            Deciding.   Editor starting weekend early.

      • Anonymous

        Well that’s an interesting way to parse what a majority wants. Did you say that when Obama won the election.

        • Hidan

          lol, now remember when the American people agree with the republicans it’s a mandate but when the American people disagree with the republicans their whiners and should be ignored.

        • notafeminista

          Yup.   Democracy is…what’s the word?  The most corrupt form of government.  Deviant?  I’ve forgotten my Greek philosopher at the moment.

      • Modavations

        The Communists against the laissez faires.The battle’s been going on since Adam and Eve.It’s genetic.One bows at the alter of the state and one side trusts the individual

        • Anonymous

          So lets see, Adam was the supply side guy and Eve was the communist. What does that make Jesus?

          • Modavations

            He was laissez faire.He walked by the stall of the “poverty pimp”and saID TO THE MASS.lET ME TEACH YOU TO FISH

        • Ray in VT

          Or one camp thinks that he or she is a lone wolf that is better off without anyone else and the other believes that we can accomplish far more working together.

          • Modavations

            We’re called Militia.When the totalitarian marches ,we grab our muskets and head for Concord

          • Ray in VT

            Why is it that you seem to have to equate all government with totalitarianism?  There is a very wide, happy medium between anarchy and totalitarianism.

          • Anonymous

            I guess he’ll be patching his own roads when they need it.
             

          • Modavations

            If they didn’t mismanage the money we could have paved those roads in gold leaf.

      • original famous Cory

        Why doesn’t it work then?

    • Yar

      66 comments and counting, I expect 666 by the end of the day.
      I have plenty of problems Ronald Reagan, first I don’t believe trickle down works.  Garbage trickles down, resources are absorbed up.  Capillary action maybe.  The candidate who most resembles Ronald Reagan in our current race for President is Barack Obama.

      • Yar

        673 comments and 6 hours left in the day.  What do numbers mean?  So far I have made 726 comments to On Point, and received 1609 likes.

  • Anonymous

    Just tax all income the way we do the income of the typical person making $40,000 a year, either as a self-employed business owner or employee:  15.3% of total net, before deductions, and 15-25% of income after minimal deductions.  Those like Romney and hedge fund managers would pay at least twice what they do now if they were taxed like the typical working stiff. 

    • notafeminista

      Y’know the 15.3% is for Social Security right?  If someone is self-employed they pay the whole 15%.  If someone is employed by someone else, half is paid by the employer and half by the employee.  Self employed folks pay the whole thing.

      • Anonymous

        I think that should change. I think self employed folks should pay the same rate as those employed by companies or maybe a little higher, say 10%. You’re wrong on the rate, it’s 13.3%.
        For non-self employed people it’s 6.2%.
        Lets try to keep the facts straight.

        You can opt of SS if you’re self employed and put the money towards a Roth IRA.

        • Gregg

          The rate is 15.3% but the 2% payroll tax cut (the accelerate the bankruptcy of Social Security bill) is also applied to the self employed. It’s got a few weeks left then back to 15.3%.

        • Gregg

          Okay, I’ll bite. where did you get the idea you can opt out of Social Security? I think preachers can but that’s all I know of. If you could opt out and invest in your own retirement then why all the fuss over privatizing? Bush just wanted the option to invest a very small portion (not privatization) and the howls ensued but you are suggesting one can opt out entirely. How did I miss that? I’m sure given your nature you have your facts straight.

          • Modavations

            Restrict the amont to safe investments like T-Bills.There is no return on S.S. now.In fact,when you open the lock box,moths fly out.Chile and England(?) allow you do privately invest a portion of your S.Sec

          • Anonymous

            T-bills are a product of the government you want to shut down, doofus.

          • Modavations

            Doofus.More immaturity

          • Anonymous

            Sure, why not. but please clarify you’re thinking on why anyone should invest in Govt. issued T-Bills from a government you believe should be shut down. Unique investment advice, indeed.

          • Modavations

            T-bills 2% return.S.Sec.0% to negative return

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know why I do this to myself,but I’ll  make another, probably futile attempt to help  you understand simple English. Read closely and try to concentrate. I know it’s hard, but try anyway. In my comment yesterday I said that my TWO sources of news information have always been “The Boston Globe” and “NPR.” I never mentioned The Nation. I said nothing about multiple “Lefty” rags. In other words, you attributed to me, words that I did not write. This would be referred to as lying. You also implied that I consider myself “worldly.” I’m a 55 year old,unemployed truck driver who’s never been out of the U.S. Hardly what I would consider worldly. Yet another Lie. The saddest thing is, you completely misinterpreted the words I wrote in plain English.Either you didn’t want to address the topic about which I wrote, which was that dreaded left wing media bias,  or you’re too much of a dolt to even understand the premise. My bet is the second possibility. Please feel free to misinterpret my words again.

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            You’re being distracted.  Focus on articulating your opinion to the rest of us.  Though praise Modavations for getting people to explain more about themselves.  It’s interesting when you understand the people behind the words.  I think I know more about you than most of my representatives.

            Do you own a truck?  Have you thought about relocating? Sorry, I respect the complexity of your situation.  I wish you luck in finding a job.

          • Anonymous

            Kind Words!

          • Modavations

            This fellow thinks reading the Boston Globe and the Nation makes him worldly

          • Anonymous

             Never read the nation. More Moda lies.

          • Modavations

            Are you calling me a liar again,Yesterday you said I get my worldy,worldy view because I read lefty rags and the Boston Globe.

          • Anonymous

            ?????????????????

          • Gregg

            What’s Jeffe talking about? Can you opt out of Social Security? He said it so it must be true.

          • Modavations

            The Politboro has spoke.You have no right to challenge

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda objects to name-calling?

          • Modavations

            Yes I do.I’m not Saint Frederick and after turning my cheek fifty times,I will react

          • lefty

            can dish it – can’t take it

          • Anonymous

            I opted out when I lived in GB in the 80′s. I was self employed then as well.
            Apparently you can’t.
            I was wrong about that.  
            My late father was self employed and he lost almost all of his retirement investments in the 2000 downturn.
            He was to old to gain it back and if he did not have SS he would have been in deep crap.

            Moda my only comment to you is life is to short to deal with fools.

      • Gregg

        I can attest to that but when you think about it the portion an employer matches essentially comes out of the pocket of the employee too. It’s all part of the cost to hire.

        As a self-employed person I pay quarterly. The only way I get a refund is if I estimate too much which I never do. If everyone paid this way a lot of eyes would be opened.

        The other thing is the Social Security tax is paying into a program that pays you back. That’s very different than income tax where the premise seems to be spend as much as possible and accuse the rich of not paying enough to cover it. I heard someone (Louie Gomert I think) refer to the payroll tax cut as the “accelerate the bankruptcy of Social Security bill”. 

      • Anonymous

        The 15.3 % is for SS and Medicare.  And I am self employed so I am very familiar with how taxes are paid.  The point is (pardon my tone of voice) THE GUY MAKING $40,000 IS PAYING A HIGHER TAX RATE THAN SOMEONE MAKING MILLIONS IN CAPITAL GAINS OR DIVIDEND INCOME.  For whatever reason, you think that’s fair and good for our country and economy.  I, being familiar with history and economic principles, know it’s not.

        • Gregg

          I guess you are talking about the cap on taxed income for Social Security. But isn’t that a separate issue than taxing income? Social Security pays you back. Everybody is the same, it should not be progressive like the income tax.

        • Hidan

          They think it’s fair cause they think they will be that guy making millions. So they support lower taxes on the rich and higher on the poor but since calling for taxes on the poor is bad P.R. they have to use words like “everyone must taking responsibility” but than when people follow up with out so the rich will too they scream socialist, don’t hurt the job creators, the rich pay enough, etc, etc.

          The right loves to become outraged and beat the drum if someone poor cheated on there taxes yet when someone rich does they cheer it own.

        • William

          But Obama said in an interview that lower captial gain taxes brings in more money to the government so why, when we are broke, raise captial gains taxes and bring in less money?

          • Modavations

            Obama has gone 180 degrees from absolutely everything he campaigned on.In the senate he railed and railed and trailed about lifting the debt ceiling

          • Gregg

            He said during the campaign it was a matter of “fundamental fairness”. does that make sense?

          • Modavations

            I’ve got my dictionary of Lefty “Gobble de gook”.Under “fairness”there are 18 pages(almost as bad as the section on Trolls).What do they mean by “fair”.Would someone please tell me what Social Justice means

          • Gregg

            What he meant was it was better to have less revenue if the investors (not necessarily rich) were brought down a few notches. In this way deadbeats can feel better about their failings. Fairness.

            Hope that helps.

          • Anonymous

            Margaret Thatcher Debunks the Leftist Agenda on Income Equality

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rv5t6rC6yvg

          • Anonymous

            Margret Thatcher.
            Oh boy, the iron lady poll taxer.
            That worked out well.
            Over 2 million kids put out on the streets.

          • Modavations

            When were you in London last.They place rocks.The government is Republican

          • Anonymous

            The Conservative party is not to the extreme right that today’s Republican party is. 

          • Gregg

            I love that clip! Her comments about the Euro at the end were so presceint.

          • Modavations

            I have a shrine down the basement to Ronaldus Magnus and the Iron Lady.

          • Modavations

            Why did it take the dictionary 17 pgs of small print to say what you did in a sentence

          • William

            “Social Justice” is the term for stealing from productive citizens.

          • William

            I never thought it made any sense. We are broke and he wants to pander to 1 percent that “just don’t get economics”.

        • notafeminista

          Only if the guy making a million is employed by someone else AND if he claims less than 106,800 (as of 2011).  Otherwise he pays the 15% just like you do.  Are you suggesting that someone else should pay into your Social Security and Medicare benefits other than yourself?

          Also interesting that you did not specify what that 15% you pay was allocated for (as in it is a direct benefit to you as part of the so-called social safety net).  Imagine what you could do with that 15% were you allowed to keep it. 

          • Modavations

            Last night I signed on to you “Groupie List”

          • notafeminista

            Huh?

          • Modavations

            A groupie is a fan.That should read,” I signed on to your Groupie List”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        WOW!  Let’s break that down!  SELF-employed.  Doesn’t that mean that the person is EMPLOYED , and the EMPLOYER?

    • Modavations

      Explain to the class why there are two tax regimes.Why pretell,do you think there is a cap.gains regime.You are aware that when I sell short term,I pay 28% fed and 6% mass.

      • Anonymous

        That is precisely my point:  there should  NOT be separate tax regimes.  ALL income should be taxed the same.  Who disagrees with that? That was also what St. Ronald Reagan thought.  Of course, he would be a Democrat in 2012.

        And if your gain is less than $83,600 in any given year and you’re paying 28%, you need a new accountant.

        • TFRX

          Considering all the whining the right does about tax rates, and all the failure they’ve had in finding the wolf they’re continually alarming the media about, it’s a wonder they haven’t bribed someone in that range to actually be that stupid about their taxes to be their nominal poster child.

          Instead of that it’s been one failure after the next Joe The Plumber’s Little Helper.

  • Yar

    There is a difference in a tax collector and a taxpayer.  We all stand on the work of others, some more so than most.  The CEO did not create wealth alone, she managed others and is rewarded well for her good management.  Collecting taxes from the CEO also collects from every employee in the company.  The CEO is simply a tax collector.  Government spending not raised through taxes dilutes the giant pool of money.  It is a tax either way, paid by the worker.  

    There is a difference in heat and work.  All energy has the potential to create heat and or work.  Horsepower measures work, the calorie and watt measures heat.  We must use the calorie and watt to do work to create value.  Back to that CEO, if truly a leader this is what they do.  Taxes are just part of the machine.I am not upset with the bank bailout, or TARP.  I am upset with allowing homes to mold and their copper be stripped or be torn down or stolen brick by brick.  This is stealing from all of us.  I am upset with the quality of education, the inefficiency in our health system, our resistance to build public transportation, our tendency to send our youth to war.  This is not creative destruction.  It is a destructive creation. I hope to build a world better than this.  

  • RolloMartins

    Romney’s tax plan elevates the deficit by $600B/yr. Santorum’s by $1.3T; Gingrich by $850B. (Figures from Tax Policy Center.) But we’re told we need to vote out Obama because the deficit is a big deal? And all these guys would decrease taxes for the wealthy. We need an alternate minimum tax for the wealthy. Why isn’t that obvious?

    • Gregg

      The projections are in a vacuum assuming spending levels remain as they are… which they can’t. In the 90′s the CBO projected $200billion deficits as far as the eye can see but the reality was a tech bubble along with welfare reform, a tax hike and a cap gains cut caused a surplus instead. The CBO did not project the 1994 revolution. Any projection that includes Obamacare is not in our future. It will be repealed or ruled unconstitutional.

      If you want less of something then tax it. I don’t think less wealth is a viable solution.

      • original famous Cory

        I propose a new tax on conservative posters to the On Point program…

        • Modavations

          Why don’t you just crush our skulls like Pol Pot

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Crushing your skull is the same as taxing you more?  WOW!  You’re THAT attached to your money? 
              Yet you said you bought 1 MILLION 100 Watt incandescent light bulbs?  No other wattages?

          • Modavations

            Keep it sane Terry, please.When I say million,it is a literary device pointing out a vast amount.Don’t make me explain Indiana Jones again.Believe me I was not having fun yesterday.It hurt me to have to do it,but I will not stand by and be stalked

    • William

      We already got an “alternative minimum tax” from the 1960′s that was “suppose to make those rich people pay” and now it is the middle class getting slammed by it.

      • Markus

        Which is really my point from earlier. These things start out as picking on a single group, then expand to the middle class. I think this is inevitable because there aren’t enough dollars that can be taken from the “super rich” to really make a dent in the debt, you have to dip down to the middle class. But I don’t know.

        So I’d love to hear some real numbers from the experts (e.g. what revenue do you get from what groups), but won’t hold my breath.

        • Ray in VT

          As much as middle income earners might not want to hear this, I think that you’re right.  The numbers that I’ve seen kicked around say increasing taxes only on earners making more than $250k/year won’t do it.  And that’s not taking a revenue only approach.  Unless you go for the very dramatic cuts that some are proposing, then everyone will need to pay more.

          • Anonymous

            Great Comment and very true!

            We have to reduce government now, not in 10 years and increase tax revenue mostly when the economy returns to something near prosperity.

          • Ray in VT

            I agree that there are definitely parts of the government that can and should be cut now, but I also think that there are some areas that should be safeguarded.  I see a lot of elderly and working poor families that have already cut their spending to the bone, and were some of the social benefits of the system to be cut back, then I’m not sure how some of them would continue to make ends meet.  I’m not sure how we, as a society, could do that in good conscience.  Of course, that is also a part of the larger conversation that we are having as to the proper role of government.

          • Anonymous

            Why are you talking about cutting government programs for poor families and the elderly?  

            Might this be because you don’t think our government does anything but give money through assistance programs to the poor and elderly?

            How about we eliminate the department of education that doesn’t educate anyone, all they do is push paper and tell parents and local officials how they should teach our children.

            How about we cut the Department of Energy, that was set up to make the US less dependent on foreign energy. Since inception it has done the opposite somehow.

            I can go on and on about government paper pushers that don’t affect poor families and the elderly, including allowing and promoting the Keystone XL pipeline that would produce thousands of US jobs and a reliable source of cheep energy to help the poor and the elderly!

          • Ray in VT

            I mentioned those because you know that is what is going to go on the chopping block first.  Things like food stamps and home heating assistance will get hacked long before the funding for some outdated weapons system or some bridge to nowhere.

          • Anonymous

            Ray,

            You have to realize that they are only brought up by politicians that want people to think that their isn’t anything else to cut. 

            It is just like when budget cuts come to local government, they try saying that police and fire fighters will be cut.  It is all politics to make people think that there aren’t any government employees that you can lay off and not notice because if people realized that there are thousands of state and millions of government employees that could be laid off and no one would notice, people would insist on it!

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org Steve Banicki

    No! It is time to fix the system as described below.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011What The 99% Must Demand!

    1. Prohibit Corporations and Unions From Financing Political Campaigns by Amending The Constitution 
    2. Enforce Anti-Trust Laws against Oligopolies & Monopolies!
    3. Bring Our Deficit Under Control and amend tax code! 

    The above are long term goals that will eventually bring more equally to the economy. The above goals will not be accomplished overnight and we need to do something that will bring the unemployment rate down now. A good start is President Obama’s jobs bill with some modifications brought about by sound ideas brought about by members of Congress and the Senate.
    The purpose of a jobs bill, or any stimulus package, is not to directly create jobs that will be long lasting. Instead, its purpose is to  create temporary jobs that will increase demand for goods and services. This in turn will create an atmosphere where the private sector will create jobs to meet the new demand created by the stimulus. Businesses will add to their work force because their profits will increase because they can sell more products.  More: http://goo.gl/yFYDb

    • Larsgw

      How about adding in a line item veto so a vote on a bill can’t be derailed by unrelated items tied to it’s coattails.

  • Markus

    I think we are idiots for falling over ourselves to give these jerks in government more of our money. Giving more money to people who’ve already shown through waste and corruption they shouldn’t be trusted is just asking for more waste and corruption.

    Ok, that said, they’ve put us in a bind with the deficit and I think we need to increase government revenue (their code word for taxes).

    But let’s get from the panel some real numbers. How much do you get for taxing those making over $500K per year, $250K per year, $100K per year. My first guess is they won’t know and will dodge the question. My second guess is that you have to dip pretty low ($80K) to make a dent in our debt.

    Oh and I think everyone should pay some federal taxes – even the 50% who don’t pay them and even if it’s a small amount. Fed services shouldn’t appear free. 

    • original famous Cory

      I guess I’d rather give it to an elected jerk than a private jerk who owes me nothing.

      • Markus

        To both comments above. I don’t understand the first one, but never called these people morons. And for the second one, don’t want to give money to any jerks – public or private.

        Odd comments.

        • Fredlinskip

          How ’bout goofballs. Would you give $ to goofballs?
          Then support the GOP.
          With that profound piece of wisdom I think it’s time to sleep.

    • TFRX

      You’ve magically turned the “no federal income tax” lazy morons (right-wing dogwhistle) into the “no federal tax” strata.

      Care to elaborate?

  • Anonymous

    “Wealth tax”?  Maybe. But not necessarily. 

    How about we start enforcing laws on the books? All of ‘em, including the assessment of taxes, regulations on banking.  As we (finally!) use the laws we have, we can begin to toss out or replace those which are onerous or badly written.  But start with enforcement…

    Oh, and a year off from paying taxes for those who vote against Romney, okay?

    • TFRX

      Enforcing the tax laws on the books also means not starving the IRS of the resources necessary to do its job. And you get one guess as to which side wants to do that.

      • Anonymous

        You got that right, TFRX!

  • Still Here

    Every fiefdom within the government bureaucracy has as its first priority to grow its sphere of influence, necessitating ever larger resource commitments.  The only way to get these entrenched interests to think differently is to force them to do with less. 

  • Hidan

    “Mitt Romney says he pays a tax rate near 15 percent. Nice, if you can
    get it. We’ll look at a controversial proposal to tax the super rich on
    their income and their wealth.”

    Controversial proposal to tax the super rich oh my. Yet cutting funding to single mothers and heat for the poor doesn’t even make it to that level. Of course it’s controversial because of lobbyist.

    Let’s see what’s Controversial so far.

    - Increasing taxes on the rich
    -Decreasing defense spending
    -Regulations for Wall Street
    -The Internet bill going around congress

    What’s not Controversial per congress
    - Arresting Americans without Due Process
    - Killing Americans without Due Process
    -Cutting aid to the poorest Americans
    -Increasing Aid to a country that was just caught posing as U.S. CIA agents to work with terrorist against Iran

    You will notice the first 4 have deeply entrenched lobbyist and the only reason why the Internet bill is getting so much heat is because of companies like google. While the others are bipartisan.

    It seems the only time congress will work together is when,

    - the work is meaningless
    - Is finally forced to
    - Corporate Lobbyist have bribed… I mean donated to both sides.(See Chris Dodd and the internet bill for an example)

    • ipswichma

      You said it!!! how depressing.

  • Still Here

    Why punish savers and investors?  Whatever they’ve saved came only after paying income taxes.  They decided to put off consumption today for tomorrow and, in doing so, provided seed capital to all the new innovations that make all of our lives better.

    • original famous Cory

      Because it is morally wrong for an individual to have more than they can ever use while their nation is bankrupt, people are hungry, and scores of millions have no health insurance.

      • notafeminista

        And it’s morally right to appropriate an individual’s property/wealth to give to someone you deem more deserving?   How on earth is theft/coercion morally right?

        • original famous Cory

          We often have asked individuals to sacrifice for the greater American whole.  Is it fair to ask an 18 year old to die face down in the sand on Omaha Beach during the d-day invasion?  What I ask of the “wealthy” certainly qualifies as an order of magnitude less.

    • Zero

      How much of a millionaire’s wealth do you think goes to consumption?

      • Ray in VT

        I think that that is the problem with a consumption tax, unless you make some sort of concession to low income earners.  If you are going to install a national sales tax, then is that on everything?  Food, clothing, electricity bills?  That would be unabsorbable for many lower income families.

  • Anonymous

    A wealth tax + flat tax would be GREAT!

    I can guarantee Warren Buffet would hate this because unlike the higher taxes that Buffet and Obama have been pushing, this one would actually make Buffet pay a higher effective tax rate than his secretary.

    The wealth tax shouldn’t affect anyone with under $2million in assets though.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone here should know that only 53% of Americans actually pay any federal income taxes.  

    This is a big problem because almost half of Americans have no incentive to not just raise taxes on the half that are paying the bills. 

    • original famous Cory

      Then why haven’t they?  If they have this awful power, why has the wealth gap continued to widen?  Your talking points are plain old.

      • Zero

        The rich have to get just a little richer, then they’ll make it rain for the middle class.  We’ll all have high paying jobs, and low college tuition.

      • TFRX

        Actually, it’s quite a step to Realityville for Brandstad to actually get the fact about the % of people and the term “don’t pay federal income tax”.

        He’s used to fungiblizing things to make the “lucky duckies” more lazy and no’count than even the Rick Santellis of the world dogwhistle to.

      • Anonymous

        My facts are old, your talking points are plain old!

        The facts are…

        The Federal Reserve defines wealth as “all financial and nonfinancial assets, including bank accounts, investments, houses, cars and debt.” And, as G. William Domhoff’s (a noted liberal professor at The University of California, who’s very much concerned with income inequality) study shows, the overall wealth distribution has not changed since 1922:                Bottom 99 percent      Top 1 percent1922-63.3% 36.7% 1929-55.8% 44.2% 1933-66.7% 33.3% 1939-63.6% 36.4% 1945-70.2% 29.8% 1949 72.9% 27.1% 1953 68.8% 31.2% 1962 68.2% 31.8% 1965-65.6% 34.4% 1969-68.9% 31.1% 1972-70.9% 29.1% 1976-80.1% 19.9% 1979-79.5% 20.5% 1981 75.2% 24.8% 1983 69.1% 30.9% 1986 68.1% 31.9% 1989 64.3% 35.7% 1992 62.8% 37.2% 1995 61.5% 38.5% 1998 61.9% 38.1% 2001 66.6% 33.4% 2004 65.7% 34.3% 2007 65.4% 34.6% Sources: 1922-1989 data from Wolff (1996). 1992-2007 data from Wolff (2010).It doesn’t look like the wealth gap has widened much since 1922!

  • Modavations

    Absolute madness.No matter how much money you give the Solons,they’ll blow it and then blow some more.The govt.is nothing but waste and fraud.Shut it down.Belgium hasn’t had a govenment for 20 months.No one notices and no one cares

    • original famous Cory

      Lunacy.

    • Zero

      “…Government is the problem…just vote us in and we’ll prove it….”

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That’s why ‘W’ campaigned that HE would make the Budget SURPLUS BIGGER?  The previous admin. had SPENT MORE? 

  • Anonymous

    Utter nonsense, pure straw-man politics, and totally misleading.

    Most of Romney’s income has to be in the form of investment dividends and capital gains, which is in the 15% category.  He probably doesn’t draw a salary which would be in the 37% category.

    We don’t have the numbers yet, but he undoubtedly paid over $1 million dollars in taxes this past year, probably over $2 million.  How the he77 is this unfair in any sense?

    Promoting higher taxes on the wealthy is purely a class warfare move and will simply spur more wealthy people to move their money abroad to safer havens, such as the islands or, increasingly, the newly rich countries like China.

    Focusing on raising taxes on the high end won’t close the gap, and it will drive away wealth.  It’s a straw man in the sense that it seeks to convince people that if only we could tax the rich, all our problems would be solved.

    The fact is, taxes should be reduced or eliminated for low and middle income earners.  Why don’t the Democrats talk about that?  Perhaps it’s because they covet the money earned by the poor and middle income earners just as much as they covet the money of the upper income earners.

    I would eliminate taxation for incomes below $30,000 or so, and have gradations above that limit to allow people to keep and invest more of their money.  At the same time, cut Federal spending to a minimum as required by the Constitution–defend the borders, mediate between the states.  

    NSF, Nasa, CDC, the Treasury–obviously we need such national efforts.  But why do we have a $68 billion a year Dept. of Education, when literacy rates and test scores are declining?  What good has it done after 40 years?  They dumbed down the SAT test to make the scores look better, for Pete’s sake. Why do we have a $70 billion a year Dept. of Labor–what labor? It’s all gone overseas. Good job, fellas.

    There’s plenty of room for cutting costs to balance the Federal budget and start living within our means.  Even confiscating all the income of the top wealthy would not balance the budget.  We have to stop living on a credit card.

    • Larsgw

      How about eliminating the breaks for capital gains so Mitt and others paying for their earnings fairly. Higher earnings cost more. Not relatively more, but proportionally more. They keep calling this “taxing the rich”, but currently they are getting a massive break. This cry of class warfare is insane. Class warfare is what gave these mega-earners this kind of gigantic break in the first place.

    • TFRX

      We don’t have the numbers yet, but he undoubtedly paid over $1 million dollars in taxes this past year, probably over $2 million.

      Two million? So?

      Trying to pull the discussion back to absolute numbers when Romney himself isn’t even trying to hide the percentage aspect is quite the Sisyphean task.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Class-warfare was declared by the RICH, on the working-class and poor!  THE RICH got their tax cuts!  They want to cut services paid for by ‘insurances’ paid for by workers?
         ‘Entitlements’ exist for the RICH, Corporate Welfare, separate “INvestment Tax” tax levels, etc..

  • Gregg

    If we define “wealth” as $250K and use the imaginary revenue to continue to expand real spending beyond it’s current atrocious level then it’s a stupid idea.

    If we define wealth as say, $20 million and tie the money directly to debt reduction then… I’m listening.

    • Anonymous

      250K is wealthy in some areas but not in others.
      It’s probably a good healthy amount in Fargo but in NY City it wont go as far.
      Personally I like the 500K to million dollar mark.
      I would say anyone making a mill a year is pretty well off.
       

      • Gregg

        It’s not much for a small business with 4 or 5 employees filing as an individual as many do. These people are “job creators”. Then you add inventory, overhead, regulatory compliance, etc. $250K goes fast.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s very true.  My brother is a dairy farmer.  His total income is has been as high as $750,000, but I don’t think that he has ever paid that.  That is his business income, before expenses, not his personal income or profit.  If one is filing as an individual using that business income for that personal income line, then isn’t that a part of their problem?

          • Gregg

            You know your brother, how much separation is there between him and his farm? If he’s a farmer (God bless him) they are one in the same.

          • Ray in VT

            They are one and the same, but I think that there is a way for him to file as a business and write off his expenses for things like fuel and labor.

          • Gregg

            He should do what’s best for him and his family. It wouldn’t make sense for him to pay more than he legally has to in this business unfriendly environment.

          • Ray in VT

            The thing that’s most unfriendly to him is the instability of the milk market.  This last downturn in prices, the worst in 30 years, did a lot of farmers in.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        If they think they are NOT, let them spend 5 years trying to get by on minimum wage, 32 hour weeks, $3.75 per gallon gas, and the other conditions that working people do!

  • Newton Whale

    Yesterday, Romney said making over $374,000 in speaking fees is “not very much” money. It was a dumb slip-up that his critics were only too eager to promote. It followed Romney suggesting elected office is only for the rich, clumsily talking about his fondness for being able to fire people, demanding that talk of economic justice be limited to “quiet rooms,” accusing those who care about income inequality of “envy,” daring Rick Perry to accept a $10,000 bet, joking about being unemployed,” and arguing that those who slip into poverty are still middle class.http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2012_01/when_polished_meets_clumsy034822.phpMr. One Per Cent 

    Corporations are people too, my friend 
    Their earnings go to people in the endThough not the human beings just like youBut job creating, innovatingYou know who… One Per CentMister One Per CentWhen I’m PresidentMister PresidentYou know I’ll look right through youWalk right by youAnd never know you’re there…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBFVzQ_sXxU 

    • Modavations

      Bill Clinton made 100 million speechifying.Romney got robbed

      • Ray in VT

        I guess that that is just the market working it’s magic, right?  Clinton is just more in demand.

      • Zero

        Clinton also works hard and pays his taxes.  Romney’s father worked hard and payed his taxes.  After Romney’s dad got Romney into Harvard, Romney makes money off of other people’s creativity and doesn’t want to pay taxes.  God Bless America.

      • TFRX

        Anyone want to define “post president” (Clinton) and “presidential candidate hopeful” (Romney) for Moda, or look at historical norms for people like this?

    • TFRX

      I think Mitt’s actual statement was “Corporations are people, my friend”.

      That takes a special talent. The last time Iowans heard such disingeniously non-trustworthy toff, they ended up buying seventy-six trombones.

  • ipswichma

    Please explain the real amount of taxes paid by corporations. I’ve heard so many percentages. What is the corporate tax rate in the US and what are some of the loopholes? Please educate me this hour. Thanks.

    • Modavations

      41%.35% Fed,6% state

      • Ray in VT

        But what company really pays that?  There are so many credits and breaks in the code that it is just ridiculous.  I’ve heard the 18-19% “effective” rate kicked around a bunch.

        • David

          2/3s of all corporations in this country pay 0% in taxes.

          • TFRX

            I’m remarking more on our faulty mediascape than on your pithy point:

            It’s funny how the echo-chamber has allowed many “knowledgable” Americans to spout about the “lazy” 47%, those lucky duckies who haven’t had a raise since before the GWBush “5 year expansion”, but who don’t earn enough to pay Fed Inc Tax. There is no equivalent drumbeat about “the 66%”.

          • notafeminista

            Corporations aren’t people remember?   Only people pay taxes.

        • Modavations

          I friggin pay it,for one

          • Ray in VT

            You’re a corporation?  Also, my figure was an average.  If you do, then that’s tough for you.  Maybe you should be working harder instead of hanging out On Point all the time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248704942 Gracemarie Collins

      Corporations embed and pass on to us approx 22% in taxes, compliance and lobbyist fees. Then they get to keep a large amount of income off shore to avoid paying anymore taxes. Please see the Fair Tax if you want to see a fair,simple and transparent solution to our economic woes! http://www.fairtax.org

  • Newton Whale

    (Gee, I wish On Point would bring back the edit function)

    Mr. One Per CentCorporations are people too, my friend 
    Their earnings go to people in the endThough not the human beings just like youBut job creating, innovatingYou know who… One Per CentMister One Per CentWhen I’m PresidentMister PresidentYou know I’ll look right through youWalk right by youAnd never know you’re there…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBFVzQ_sXxU 

  • Modavations

    Remember the movies after WW11.Twenty years after the war, on the Philipines they found Japenese soldiers with foot long bears and in rags.We have agency upon agencies of these guys.They can’t even remember what they were hired for.

    • Modavations

      beards

      • original famous Cory

        I liked your story better when the Japanese soldiers were keeping foot long bears.

      • Kaybee63

        Ha ha – beards does make a lot more sense than foot long bears!  Though I bet they’d be awfully cute.

        • Modavations

          got a chucle myself.Glad there are still a few of us capable of having a good time

      • Terry Tree Tree

        B.C. education?

        • Anonymous

          He spent his time there learning how to fish. 

        • Modavations

          It is often said the Volunteer Fire fighters are often Fire Bugs.They start a fire,run over there and say I’m a HERO.Stand down lad.I’ve asked you three times.

    • original famous Cory

      Huh?

    • Anonymous

      Wow, what a sight, old Japanese solders with foot long bears. How cute.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me Romney et al are beginning to argue not that minimally taxed wealth creates jobs, and more that minimally taxed wealth allows for capital to create the capital (paper profits) that flows into big institutional accounts (college endowments, union and state retirement funds, etc.).  So in terms of the electorate, the freedom of equity to blossom and balloon without being too tethered with taxes is the freedom to keep the membership of AARP to see bright horizons.
        Beware the wrath of senior citizens.  If people with low retirement incomes depend on the explosive nature of centered gluts of wealth (with its ability to borrow and loan, to push things this way and that, more or less risk free — able to avoid taxes by collecting money from untaxable interest on loans foisted on this or that client, as we hear about Bain), if old people, retirees, without ready access to jobs are going to be hurt by a wealth tax on Others With Deep Pockets, then even if their income is $10,000 a year, they will mind A Lot if taxwise curtailing of centered-wealth means now they get $9,000 a year.  
        In that way, taxing wealth cuts deep into many helpless people’s necessities.  That is the weapon Romney has, it seems to me.   It’s not about jobs; it’s about profits.  Of course there is probably a healthy way to create profits and invest therein, but we probably don’t have it — because we have the unhealthy version.

  • Greyman

    Oprah is worth what–four or five times as much as Romney? Bereft as I must be without a television set: Is O doing a show explaining what higher rates (over 15%, that is) she’s pleased to consider for her own taxable income? If Hollywood executives and producers lost big to Silicon Valley yesterday, now would be a fine time for them to announce what tax rates revised upwards would suit them, 15% is obviously too low. Silicon Valley execs themselves can post online the columns of tax rates they care to post on their quasi-public websites and home pages. Six-figure income earners with NPR/CPB/APM/PRI and WBUR can tell us what higher rate(s) would appease them, too, you know, making it part of the discussion and all, since they are quasi-public employees, too, like their fraternal public educators, the generosity of whose benefits programs has long since begun to be considered state-by-state (why, even here in South Carolina!), and justly so . . . . sure, let the revaluation of values begin, maybe sooner.

    • original famous Cory

      Ugh.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    ‘Conservatives’ are worried that increased taxes will cause increased spending?  HOW ASSANINE!  During the ‘W’ admin., when they CUT taxes, did the ‘coservatives’ CUT spending, or did they start two wars, and several other expensive SPENDING SPREES?
       50% of $2Million, leaves $1Million, ‘conservatives’ can’t get by on $1Million?  Then they admit they are UNFIT to govern the majority of people that get a LOT LESS than $1Million!

    • Yar

      Conservative and Liberal have lost their associative meanings in today’s politics. The conservative moniker of cut taxes and spend on war and corporate welfare is more liberal than the radical idea of tax and spend the liberal moniker is used to disdain funding for education and regulation of businesses to prevent them from polluting of our environment.

    • Modavations

      Terry,no one says taxes are evil.We reject the fraud,duplication odf services and out right mismanagement that is everywhere in govt.Steve Jobs said from the minute the Dept of Ed was formed, the SAT’s dropped.Further,he said the stronger the union got,the more the SAT continued to plummet

      • AC

        i don’t know – i just recently dealt with a gov office, FORCED to take lowest bid no matter what, hiring a foreign company even tho unemployment in their state is at 10%. this is not uncommon for gov decisions, since they’re nitpicked to death over ‘tax usage’, the thing i’ve learned though, is that projects are purposely underbid by these companies knowing they can start going after the insurance retainers by inundating the project with change orders. i’m not kidding. there are people that get paid a fortune! to create problems and get that money….& they’re REALLY good at their jobs….

      • Zero

        …But a 3% tax hike on the rich is evil.

        • notafeminista

          Yes, especially when 1)no one can define “rich” and 2)It’s for no other reason other than you can.

          That’s evil.

          • Modavations

            I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what the hell “Social Justice”means

          • notafeminista

            No one knows – its a bludgeon with which the Left likes to whack people of whom they don’t approve.

          • Zero

            Who knew, all those rich people suffering during the Clinton years. 

        • Modavations

          yes,yes,yes.Read Ayn Rand.When you tax the work ethic,people won’t work

          • Ray in VT

            Rand was just plain terrilbe.  She gave atheists a bad name.  Setting the rate too high could discourage work, but do you really think that people like pro atheletes would choose to stop playing a game for a living if they had to pay 39% versus 33%.

          • Zero

            Rand also thought Women should remain as Teachers and not join the general work force.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248704942 Gracemarie Collins

    To all who posted here sentiments like yours about taxes, our government and the state of our economy are posted all over the internet. We the people have had enough right! The answer to all the problems and inequities mentioned below is the FairTax. http://www.fairtax.org Fair, simple, transparent  and no loopholes. The Fair Tax puts all Americans and legal residents on a level playing field. 
    What is the FairTax plan?The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 13) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax  administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.The FairTax:No federal income tax or fica witholding from paychecks Enables retirees to keep their entire pensionsRefunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessitiesAllows American products to compete fairlyBrings transparency and accountability to tax policyEnsures Social Security and Medicare fundingCloses all loopholes and brings fairness to taxationAbolishes the IRSPLEASE CHECK OUT THE FAIR TAX http://www.fairtax.org

    • Joe

      you must be very wealthy.  the fairtax is a regressive approach to taxation, placing the burden of taxes on the poor and middle class while eliminating many of their government benefits, while the rich reap the benefits of a government paid for by the poor.  I can only assume you are fabulously wealthy.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/tlcwahl Tyra Lynne Wahl

        Joe you know what they say about assumptions…

        Yes, for awhile a fair tax would be regressive, but it has been proven over and over that the US does not have a revenue problem at this moment in time, we have a spending problem…

        So, no matter how much we take away from others “more wealthy” (whatever that means) then ourselves the hunger for more will never be satiated until we get our outrageous spending habits under control. 

        • Joe

          I don’t know what kind of proof you have of that.  Your own assumption is likely that people don’t need the social programs that provide food, housing, heat, and other basic needs, or that the private sector will seamlessly and without prejudice pick up those responsibilities once the government ceases to do so.  A Ron Paul and/or Libertarian solution to the fiscal problems of this nation is predicated on the mass starvation, freezing, or homelessness of millions of people.  If you are willing to allow millions of people to die so that rich people can keep all their money, then simply embrace your Malthusian/Social Darwinist ideology and say that you want the poor to die.  Otherwise, give up the ghost.

  • original famous Cory

    There isn’t any way within our current paradigm to extract wealth from the wealthy.  They are too smart and well connected.  They can dodge any legal attempt to force them to give back to society.

    The only way to accomplish fair wealth redistribution is to alter the paradigm.

    Remember, everything Romney did regarding his aquisition of wealth and having that wealth sustain him in perpetuity was apparently legal… 

    • Greyman

      “Alter the paradigm”: consisting of what, exactly? A Constitutional convention? or rejection of the Constitution? Let’s dispense with the self-evidences when we can, right? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/tlcwahl Tyra Lynne Wahl

      We shouldn’t have to “force” the ultra wealthy to give back… most of these people already do give back through their philanthropic organizations and foundations.
       The decision of if and how to share accumulated wealth should be left up the the earner… not to the segment of America that thinks they should give more and also thinks its okay to force them too through unreasonable taxation. 

      • TFRX

        You have a problem with normative tax rates, with returning them to as they were during the Reagan years?

        Because if you do, you’re in danger of being thought a Communist!11!1one! in some parts.

  • AC

    this is a tough one & over my head. 
    i mean 25% of say ~85k=21,250. 15% of 1mil=150,000. i have a childish & simplistic view of taxes; they should be based on usage of resources to cover the cost of maintaining those resources. so i ask myself, are the wealthy necessarily using more resources? i don’t think so. but i look at corporations & companies – now they use WAY more resources than anyone. the wear & tear to public roads from freight trucks alone is ridiculous, but we all pay the same to use the same roads – that seems less fair. & waste – it doesn’t just disappear & who produces the most waste? right. 
    - but – i’m not sure if they pay extra right now, i’m thinking they do because they’re always after reducing these costs – balancing it against job creation. 
    wish i knew how it all really works……

    • Gregg

      No one really does.

    • Steve

      Please do not lose your “childish and simplistic” view;
      Although I would describe it as “youthful and optimistic.”

      • Modavations

        That’s a front.She knows exactly what’s going on.Always got your back AC and will never forget when Jeffe wanted you dead

  • Dpweber83

    The WSJ is becoming my favorite satirical newspaper.

  • Ca_brit

    I have no problem with the rich earning lots of money. However what I do have a problem is with the rich paying a lower tax rate than myself. Where do we draw the line? Should I be able to pay a lower tax rate than those who earn $10K a year?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248704942 Gracemarie Collins

      The Fair Tax will solve that problem and much more!
      http://www.fairtax.org

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WHY should someone that just shifts money around, to make more money,  Pay LESS taxes on that money, than the workers, that risk their lives, and expend money EVERY DAY , to get to work, risk their health, and sometimes their lives, to work their shift, then risk to get back home?
       Can anyone EXPLAIN this to me?

    • Modavations

      That money is what is loaned to the inventor.Arn’t you an inventor.That what venture capital does

      • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

        Do you mean investor? Venture capital might invest in an inventor.

        Also don’t confuse market making, i.e. shifting money around with investment. Someone who trades currency is hardly different from the 80 year old playing the penny slots at Yonkers Racino.

        Except, at least the 80 year old’s gambling activities creates more Racino jobs.

      • David

        Romney was not a venture capitalist in the sense you are using.

        He was an asset stripper. 

        Went in, loaded up companies with debt, raided the pensions, payed themselves enormous fees, then got out. In most cases causing the company to go bankrupt.

        • notafeminista

          Well the companies were already loaded with debt. 

        • Steve

          I have read both positve and negative reports on Bain, each manipulated by political association.  Please provide specific examples other for study.

        • Modavations

          And Staples,and Sports Authority and Dominoes and,and,and

          • Anonymous

            Romney’s Dominos and Cain’s Godfathers – why can’t Republicans make good pizza?

          • David

            He’s admitted he had nothing to do with Staples. 

            Get a clue.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Yes, I am an inventor.   Venture Capitalists aren’t yet interested in investing in a device to make rescueing victims from collapsed buildings, landslides, cave-ins, and other dangers! 
           I guess they can’t see enough PROFIT from it.  Lives mean nothing, PROFIT is everything?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248704942 Gracemarie Collins
    • Pete

      The rich don’t pay any more on Capital gains than you do.
      Any time you sell  an investment asset that has made money you pay the same rate as Romney does.

       The Capital Gains tax is actually double taxation, you get taxed once on the value of an asset and then the Capital Gain tax taxes you again on it’s yield. Can you explain the fairness of THAT to me?

      • Joe

        Yeah, just like I pay income and payroll taxes on my paycheck, then I have to pay taxes again when i buy a car or a house or anything that I pay sales tax on or alcohol or basically anything!  That’s not fair, being taxed twice!

        • AC

          i don’t think it’s unfair, there are different levels of infrastructure you’re paying for there; the development costs versus your maintenance cost or are you able to layout your own sewer routes?

          • TFRX

            I’m betting Joe has a jetpack, and one of those machines which recycles liquid waste into potable water.

          • AC

            ewwww!

          • Joe

            dude, i’ve got billions of dollars and i use them all to save babies.  cut my taxes and i’ll save more babies.  increase my taxes and i’ll start strangling the babies.

          • TFRX

            My sci-fi is officially more realistic than whatever you’re saying.

          • Ray in VT

            He just had a modest proposal, like eating Irish babies.

          • TFRX

            Oops.

            My Swift-dar is usually better than that.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Why do I find this difficult to believe?

          • TFRX

            Ray in VT says you’re going all Jon Swift on us.

            In that case, oops. My Swift-dar is usually better than that.

      • David

        THE RICH OWN 90% of stocks.

        They may not pay more then the serfs do but they own must of it.

        • Modavations

          The beauty of America is we all have a shot at being part of that crowd.People flock here from around the world ,for the shot at becoming rich as Buffet-Midas.It’s what makes America and Western Europe envy of the world

          • Zero

            You really think opportunity is the same? 

          • notafeminista

            Opportunity IS the same.  Results are not.  I think TRFX demonstrated this most excellently last week during our discussion of Dr Quinones.

          • Ray in VT

            But it really isn’t, is it?  Mr. Romney, for instance, got started way ahead of any of us here.  He has had far greater access to opportunity to most of us.  I don’t think that we could ever really provide equal opportunity, but there are things that we can do to try to provide some level of access to opportunity through things like good education.  And we can never equalize results.  To try to do so would be folly.

          • notafeminista

            Well let’s see…according to Wikipedia (which granted, is only as accurate as it is) Mr. Romney attended public school until he was 13, then a private school called Cranbook which segregates the sexes, then BYU.  He also was a Mormon missionary to France. 

            So half an education public, half an education private, a great deal of it religiously based Ray.  Sounds pretty good.

            And please, the Left never stops engaging in folly.

          • Ray in VT

            And so does the Right, just in other ways.  It does sound pretty good, but he had it a lot better than many of us.  I’m not knocking him for that, I’m just saying that some people get a much better shake right out of the gate than others.

          • Zero

            I grew up in the upper class where kids drove BMWs to school and had their college educations already paid.  The best thing I learned in high school was how different other high schools are.  In short, I had much more opportunity than most people, let alone someone growing up on food stamps.

          • Modavations

            Yes,yes,yes

      • TFRX

        Plus, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

        (h/t Anatole France)

  • Danielle Mollet

    I do like your show today, very much so.

    Can I suggest that you interview a young man, Grant Korgan,
    paralyzed after a ski accident, who just reached the South pole.
    I would call him “Brave Heart” and he is totally inspiring.

    Thanks for paying attention.Go on doing what you are doing!

    Danielle

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    There needs to be far more tax  brackets. When our tax  code only has less than a dozen, and tops out at anything over $300K, there’s something very wrong.

  • Yar

    Please explain why most of our tax code is temporary.  It is because the CBO uses the tax code for projections of income.  It is all fiction.  Change the projections to the code in place currently and use it to project the day of revolution would be more accurate. 

  • Joe

    don’t you guys think someone really ought to suggest the fair tax?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Why is doing actual work seen as something to be seemingly punished for with a higher tax rate than someone that just sat on their money and made money with money.  The money’s still the same. The housing, food, and goods bought with it might be different, but it spends the same.  So what makes the money someone raking in millions through investments less taxable than someone slaving away 40+ hours a week? That’s backwards.  Even the Republican demigod Ronald Reagan said that it was “Crazy!”

  • The_Chris

    Raise capital gains taxes.  Period.  IRS completely exempts taxes on $150,000 of capital gains on the sale of a home, if you’ve  lived in the home 2 years. Owners of expensive real estate by owing no tax, while a wage earner must pay taxes on all income.
     

  • Curtis

    Don’t forget the historical model of a wealth tax – PROPERTY taxes were a tax on the means of production – effectively all wealth.     

    Today this tax is effectively on homes – about 1% in my experience, with no minimum.   This is regressive… 

    Why not go to 1% on ALL assets, with an exemption for house and typical IRA – say $500K?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Does it not make sense that as the wealthy in this country have benefited the most from the capitalist system we all work and live in that they should then pay the largest share of the tax burden? Admitedly I am not in the top 1%, nor am I anywhere near it, but if I ever manage to pull myself up by my boot straps I WANT to pay my fair share of the tax burden so that others may have the same opportunities I did. To do otherwise is not only disengenious, but I would go so far as to call it anti-American. Such greed hinders our development as a nation and is a major contributing factor to our current stagnation. To quote Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

  • Rich in CT

    What’s this dude smokin’. The Oligarchs will never permit this.

  • Simon

    How do we determine how much to tax (the rich, middle class etc)? Look at the history, compare with other countries and look at the Gini coefficient.

  • Emilie from MA

    why don’t you guys ever mention Ron Paul? He’s a candidate too, and he has probably the most extreme tax ideas! I wasn’t a Paul supporter, but I’m starting to want to vote for him just because it seems the media blackout on him is so unfair… even in the debates, he’s barely given a chance to speak. But when he does speak, it’s quite interesting. I may not agree with all his ideas, but he seems to be the only one who really sticks to his principles, regardless of what the media and public think.

    NPR, please make sure you cover all the candidates fairly.

    • Joe

      the Paulbots have the hugest persecution complex I’ve ever seen in politics.  they’ll only be happy when we say “Paulitics” and Ron Paul is crowned emperor of the world.

      • Mike

        Your reply demonstrates that it’s not a persecution complex, but actual persecution.  Are other politician’s supporters called “Obamabots” or “Romneybots”?  And it’s clear that Paul definitely does not get media coverage proportional to his popular support.

        • Joe

          persecution?  Okay, drama queen.  First of all, there’s no Romneybots because Romney already is a robot.  Secondly, Paul is a fringe character who has gained about 20% of the republican party’s support either because they don’t know he’s a bigot but do think he wants to legalize pot, or because they do know he’s a bigot and finally have someone to represent them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tlcwahl Tyra Lynne Wahl

    I seriously don’t understand why people insist on raising taxes on accumulated wealth… before I invested my money I earned it, I paid taxes on it then. 

    To be quite honest I have issues with the fact that I have to pay any taxes on the dividends I earn because I invested well and made good decisions… so why am I essentially being taxed doubly on my initial wealth? 

    People need to keep in mind that most people live out their old age on fixed incomes that are derived largely from financial investments (aka accumulated wealth) and now the government wants a bigger piece of that?

    People my age (43) better start paying attention or the US government with its bad spending habits is going to steal your retirement and any motivation to want to grow wealth.

    • Still Here

      Plus the fact that the company that pays you the dividends does so only after it pays its taxes. 

      Municipal bonds which allow municipalities to make infrastructure investments are often triple-exempt, federal, state and local.  Do we want to discourage that kind of investment and force municipalities to get more revenue from sales taxes?

    • Joe

      If you sit on your wealth and don’t do anything with it, you’re not engaging in the economy.  So there should be an incentive to get you engaged in the economy — tax breaks for small businesses, for example, or donating to charity.  The 3 million dollar exemption seems to me a reasonable cutoff, allowing people with modest 401k plans to get by tax-free, while encouraging people with monstrous portfolios to reinvest in the real economy.  

      • notafeminista

        There are already tax breaks in place (deductions) for charitable contributions. 

    • Kaybee63

      When hedge fund managers, executives, etc. structure their compensation so that it’s all “capital gains,” than no, they’re not getting taxed twice – they’re getting taxed once, and at a rate much lower than your average schlub.  How is that right?

  • David

    TAX THE RICH OR WE WILL EAT THEM!!!!!!!!!!

    • AC

      tasty!!

    • Steve

      Tough, bitter, little flavor.  Better get your self a strong lager

    • Terry Tree Tree

      YUCK!!!!

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Fair Tax/Flat Tax  only seems to be fair to those that don’t have to figure total costs down to the penny to get the things that they need for the basics.    15% isn’t that much to someone that’s buying a new Louis Viton bag or Mercedes. But to someone buying school supplies for the kids, and getting their used car fixed, on their minimum wage job 15% is HUGE.

    • TFRX

      I’ll go one further: Screwing up the tax code so someone on the outside (you and me and most everyone here) is a feature of Beltway Inbreds and tax lobbyists.

      They want to fekk it up to the point that we’ll say “hmm, a flat tax looks more sensible”. I won’t let them manuver into that position without comment.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        The tax code is deliberately made to confuse so that some people and businesses  can loophole themselves into keeping almost all their cash, and even more.

        How do businesses like GE get a tax refund in the millions, or Exxon-Mobil pay no taxes, but both  vaunt record earnings and pay record dividends?

        • TFRX

          I hope that’s a rhetorical question, cos I got no worldly answer.

  • David

    Romney wants the Capitol Gains Tax to be 0%.

    That means HE WOULD PAY NO TAXES.

  • Markus

    Mostly broad generalities and spinning on the show. Light weights. How much revenue will you generate by increasing the taxes of the super rich, or just rich by X amount.  What income levels do you have to tax at what rate to make a dent in the debt?

  • Curtis

    Another argument – such a tax will have a greater effect on old-money conservative holdings (that earn 5-10%) than on aggressive “entrepreneurial” investments, which typically earn higher returns.   

    A wealth tax would have the effect of increasing the incentive to invest in riskier ventures…

  • Epicycles

    One problem with a wealth tax is that it is insensitive to the market movement. Is it fair to tax wealth while assets are decreasing in value?

    • Zero

      But can’t the decreasing assets be linked to the debt crisis?  If so, a moderate tax increase on the rich be helpful in the long run.  It seems the debt crisis is far more threatening than a 39% tax rate.

      • Epicycles

        right now decreasing assets are linked to the financial crisis but not in general . Taxing the increase in wealth could makes sense, but if the investment is losing money and it’s taxed on top of that, then it seems like a double whammy. Although I can see the point that having it balanced – same tax whether it goes up or down – makes it less discouraging of risk taking. But isn’t excessive risk taking (plus deceit about the amount of risk) the cause of the current financial crisis, anyway?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Obfusticating double-talk?  Or can you make that plainer?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The assets of the NON-rich are decreasing too!  At a much WORSE rate! 
         Don’t the rich Republicans call for ‘sacrifice’?   WHY don’t they ‘sacrifice’?

  • Casey

    People are saying: Why “punish” investors? That implies that we should not “punish” the investors, but we should “punish” the rest of Americans who do not have the means to invest.

    • Zero

      To republicans, 39% is a punishing tax rate.  Those republicans also have never picked up a history book.

    • Anonymous

      Investors create investments which in turn creates jobs. Because of this if you want more jobs, you shouldn’t punish investments!  

      It IS that SIMPLE!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        WHERE ARE THE JOBS?   How long does this lie go on, before even the GREEDY rich see it for the lie it is?

        • Anonymous

          Please explain what the lie is and convince me of your currently shallow point.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘W’ said tax cuts for the rich would CREATE JOBS!, as a way to get the tax cuts.  
                WHERE ARE THE JOBS?? 
               The rich have had eight years of tax cuts! 
                Unemployment should be .4%!

          • bellavida

            The lie is….taxes on the rich and corporations have been dropping since Reagan……and jobs are going overseas.

  • Cris

    The biggest problem with our economy is STAGNANT resources — wealth that does not engage in productive activity.  Why take a risk in difficult times if it’s so easy to sit it out.  There should be a price for that — an incentive to have wealth WORK for the benefit of the wealth holder AND society.  After all, charitable foundations are motivated to make their money work because the tax laws discourage them from just camping out their wealth.

  • Corey

    This becomes a tiresome debate when it’s framed up as “the rich” only
    being able to be taxed at 15%. Anybody can invest and have those
    investments taxed at 15%, not just the rich.

    And before you say that the rest of the country can’t afford to,
    consider this: spend less than you make, build up some savings, then
    invest some of that, and you can be taxed at 15%. That works anywhere up and down the economic spectrum.

    • TFRX

      Bull. Didn’t Romney say the bulk of his income is taxed at 15%? Well, the bulk of a middle-class household’s is not.

      “That works anywhere up and down the economic spectrum.”

      That is so cute. Funny thing about the non-rich: We don’t have the luxury of living off the interest of the interest, and often make most of our money with salaries.

      • Corey

        We don’t have to live off of it. We can increase our investments over
        time. Instead of criticizing the rich (which is way too popular right
        now), why don’t we look to what wealthy people do with an open mind and
        consider how we can implement these strategies ourselves over time to
        make our lives better. If it worked for them, why can’t it work for us?

        • Anonymous

          Agreed.  I would like to inherit a fortune.  Any suggestions? 

          • Modavations

            Marry a Kennedy or one of Jay Rock’s kids

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Be a $1.6 Million ‘historian’!

        • TFRX

          Because they have more money.

          You are basically telling people: Do you want to be rich? First, get yourself a pile of money, then invest it like a rich person.

          Oh, and never have a health crisis, lose a job, or do any of the other things which have historically been shown to lead to bankruptcy or cause people to need to unretire, sell their homes, or drop out of college. And don’t be in the position to have to stay at a crap job because it’s the only way for you to get health insurance.

          Do you really think you’re turning on the lightbulb for anyone here with your advice? Do you really think you’re fooling anyone with the “Mitt Romney and Listener X pay the same cap gains tax, but he gets to play accounting games, so it’s all the same”?

          • Corey

            You don’t get rich by starting rich, we all have to patiently grow money one stepping stone at a time. Maybe it’s not about getting rich, but adding more income  as you go. Anybody can make excuses and opt out … or you can grow your money and have more money set aside to help you in case of a health crisis or a job loss. If you don’t start, then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage, not Mitt Romney or the rich doing it to you. And I don’t even like Mitt Romney …

          • Zero

            Social mobility has gone down dramatically since Reagan.

          • TFRX

            You don’t get rich by starting rich.

            You want to place odds on that statement, especially given stagnant middle class income over the last ~40 years?

            Ever hear of the Lucky Sperm Club?

          • Corey

            As I said to Terry Tree Tree, somebody in the Romney family started out with normal means and grew
            wealthy over time. If you’re not willing to try, then your marginalizing
            yourself.

            You can make excuses or you can try. That’s all for me today, I’m signing off of this thread now.

          • TFRX

            Signing off? Is that a promise?

            Nice “either/or” on “making excuses or you can try”. This board isn’t a Little League ball team.

            Apparently I should have tried harder to not be born to lazy people, but rather, George Romney.

            And any time you want to defend equivocating my stake in the tax rate with Mitt’s, go ahead.

          • notafeminista

            “anec” is not a suitable prefix for “data”.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Give me the wealth that Romney got from his dad, to start with, the ‘connections’, and the knowledge that if I make a serious mistake that I won’t starve my family, and I TOO can do it!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Cute protection for the rich!   Tell everyone they can do the same thing!  SHOW US, making Minimum Wage, or less, HOW to do it, for ten years!  Remember, you cannot afford Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, and a LOT of other things the rich can, and take for granted!

      • Corey

        Somebody in the Romney family started out with normal means and grew wealthy over time. If you’re not willing to try, then your marginalizing yourself. Nobody said it was easy, but it’s what we all have to accept and do if we want a better tomorrow for ourselves.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Estate taxes are only in effect on estates over $10 Million. The heirs didn’t earn that money. If those same people had hit the lottery they’d be more than happy to pay the taxes on that money. But, because they hit the family tree lottery of having rich Aunt Fanny kick the bucket and  leave them a boat load of cash they shouldn’t have pay? 

    There’s an argument I have heard that the money had already been taxed. True, it was. By Aunt Fanny. She earned it, saved it, invested it, and paid taxes on it. The heirs didn’t. That’s “new money” to them. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If they hit the lottery, they don’t have any choice!  The IRS is right there, as I’ve been told.  Big winners in a casino, are supposedly confronted by IRS, WHEN they take posession of their winnings!

  • Kurt Johnson

    We already have a wealth tax.  It is called the Federal Estate Tax.  The tax rate is 35% of wealth over $5 million for an individual and $10 million for a couple. When the wealthy die, they do pay a substantial portion of their accumulated wealth in taxes

    • TFRX

      Takes a bit of needlethreading to say that without slipping “death tax” in there.

      And how many people are affected by this? During the last Congressional dustup, the media breathlessly stenographed the right’s mantra of “saving small businesses and family farms”. While the right failed completely to produce a single poster child for their cause.

    • Yar

      Like the corporate tax rate, very few people actually pay the estate tax.  They have financial vehicles to pass wealth on and avoid the 35 percent tax.

    • lewis

      true, except that in practice they direct the assets into tax sheltered foundations that exist largely to promote their ongoing family interests.  which also happens to be why none of this will ever change.

      • notafeminista

        Except when they don’t.  And how is someone other than their family deserving of whatever money is left?

    • notafeminista

      This is after they’ve already paid over time into federal taxes, local taxes and so on.

      • bellavida

        True..but I have lots of family that are self-made millionaires from renting in the inner-city that openly brag about how little tax they pay on their rental earnings.  Transfer their wealth to a trust and voila….they qualify for all manner of public assistance, Medicaid, etc.  In my line of work…I see it all the time.

        • notafeminista

          You just hit upon why government assistance programs are BAD.    Offer a public program at a so-called “free” or reduced rate and everyone will figure out how to become eligible for that program.

          Hike taxes on the wealthy and they will figure out how not to be wealthy and then become eligible for the public assistance (of whatever nature).  People, all of us, are always self interested first.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    We don’t  a “wealth tax”.

    We do need to stop pretending that there is a difference between a guy who is paid wages to invest your money as part of a hedge fund and a guy who is paid wages to invest your money as part of an investment bank.

    Also you earn me a million dollars and have to give you $200,000  why are you not taxed at the wage, tip or gift rate?

  • David

    The elite won’t let us make a decision as a nation to take care of our poor and elderly.

    They want this society to sink to the worst conditions possible so we will work for nothing just like the Chinese.

  • Ldgirod

    I agree with the wealth tax idea.  The “95%” who would be under the limit already pay an effective wealth tax in the form of property taxes.  For most people the value of their home is greater than their net worth, and it’s taxed at in my case 1.5%.

  • Ralph in Michigan

    Since the Reagan years, people in the the elite and the media have succeeded in convincing many people that greed is not “a vice”, it’s “a virtue”. They taught people to believe a lie. Any person who is or pretends to be Jewish, Christian, or Muslim should admit that Jesus (and the Prophets) had serious concerns about excessive wealth in the presence of poverty. Any society should be able to say that a small number of people are not going to be allowed to control and hoard an excessive portion of the world’s wealth while other’s go without what is needed to live comfortably.

    • Ben

      I agree with your premise that we should look to the holy scriptures for guidance on our personal conduct.  But I don’t think the government can be successful in encouraging morality by the tax code.  It is a personal issue.   It seems to me that this tax proposal is more of a jelousy tax.  eg “I don’t have what thay have so take it away from them”.   Jesus said: “first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye” (Mat 7:5).

      • Zero

        “But I don’t think the government can be successful in encouraging morality by the tax code.”

        That is all the politicians do: fairness this, fairness that.  I say the hell his fairness, be technocratic.

        Also, why is taxation on the rich some sort of “private Christianity” with conservatives.  Where does it say in the Bible that the rich are evil?  Try from cover-to-cover. 

        But there is an obscure law about homosexuality next to a law about how one should sell their daughters as sex slaves…and the abortion issue is even more obscure in the Bible…and Jesus never talk about any of it…but you idiot conservatives are public about that form of Christianity.  Why?

        Why do you practice public Christianity with issues that are obscure in the Bible, yet you are a private Christian with central themes in the Bible?

        I’ll tell you why.  Because you are not a Christian, you are a right wing ideologue. 

        • Steve

          I believe the Bible and Jesus have quite a bit to say about justice and the responsibility of the wealthy towards the poor.

          If you are interested I will provide references.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          SOOOO TRUE!

      • TFRX

        If the government were encouraging morality with tax codes, that would mean Ike was less moral than Reagan, who was less moral than Bush II.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Is it envy, to expect a $Billionaire to pay the same, or a higher tax rate for moving money around to make money, than the working-class that risk so much, to work to make the rich richer? 
           I certainly do NOT envy someone that cares about amassing MORE money and power, FAR MORE than the health and safety of his/her fellow man! 
            WHY would I envy something that repulsive?
             Envy?  That’s just the GREEDY rich’s way to rationalize their GREED!

  • Yar

    Isn’t inflation a wealth tax?  If we really want to put money back to work, we should target annual inflation rate at 10 percent.  To make it work we would have to index wages to inflation.  I would index wages to energy.  With inflation money parked in banks will move out into businesses.   I call it use it or lose it.  We also have to protect the elderly because they get hurt when their past work is devalued though inflation.

    • lewis

      inflation is how this normally works, however as you point out you would need the wage indexing part to achieve the “exemption” part of a wealth tax.  the other problem is that large fortunes are typically well insulated from inflation; assets other than cash tend to increase in value with inflation.  this tends to hurt the little guy who sees their real income drop (unless there is indexing) and who does not have time, the savvy, or the political connections to make money putting their wealth at risk. they are more likely to lose money.  

  • David

    Let these treasonous criminal rich leave the U.S. 

    Go. 

    Just don’t think you will keep your ownership of anything in this country.

  • Listener from Newton

    Doesn’t alt-min tax apply to Romney’s investment income?  What about the middle-class family which sells an investment to pay for college, retirement?  Could we not go back to the concept of “income averaging” for tax purposes, which was available up to the 80s?  The $60k earning family ought to get a break on a one-time gain from sale of a long-held rental property vs the $600k family which gets all its income from “investments”.

  • Dgann

    Tom, I like Teddy Roosevelt am a Republican who is fully in favor of a progressive tax code.

    Mitt Romney didn’t set the tax rate, never was in Congress.

    The Democrats had an opportunity to change the tax code for the first two years of the Obama administration and didn’t.

    That is obviously because as Teddy pointed out over a century ago, both parties are bought and paid for.

    Look at all the former Wall Street folks and lobbyists that are, and have been a part of the Obama administration.

    Just Google “Wall Street” and his Chiefs of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley, and now Jacob Lew. 
    All have Wall Street ties!

    How about those “failed policies of the past”?

  • Elizabeth Rutherford1

    Romney has actually paid 50% tax on his investment income. He had to make it first (ordinary Income taxed at 35%) and THEN invest it in order to have investment income, (taxed again at 15%). This conversation is a smoke screen. The issue is whether or not he’s the right candidate for President. Let’s talk about that.

    • Zero

      That’s a complete lie: investor income is taxed at the capital gains rate.  Labor income (i.e. Romney’s speaker fees) are taxed at the rates we all have to pay.

    • lewis

      this is not true.  he never paid income tax on “deferred interest” investment income because it is structured as a cash flow from an ongoing deal, where he takes a cut of x% of the profit on an investment of someone else’s money.  he has no capital at risk, he simply gets a dividend cash flow which is taxed once at 15%

    • Meme_shop

      I am sick of arguments like these… Does the average person not invest with post income tax money too? IF… they got any money to spare but lets assume that is the case… So no income tax for anyone? Since “corporations are people”, I can use anyone… ;-)

      Furthermore, it is in fact shown many corporation pay zero or less in tax (the government pays them) and in general the real corporate tax rate is probably less than personal income tax rates.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Please read the title of the program?

  • Stacey

    Beyond the deficit and fairness, there is the notion of democracy. Am I really an equal citizen with Mitt Romney or George Soros? Can we really be said to be part of the same democracy? Are they treated the same way as I am under the law? Do we have the same voice in what happens?

  • Chris

    The low capital gains tax is suppose to be an incentive to invest, right?  But, if the capital gains rate goes up, what alternative do the wealthy have to investing (i.e. saving) their money?  They could spend it, but spurring people to spend in this economy might not be a bad thing.

  • Maggie

    This may be repetitive.  I ask what is the definition of wealth?  I have a small investment account that I have been building since I was 20 to have in retirement.  That is taxable at 15%.  Change that and I now have less for retirement.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Above $5 Million?  You might lose a bit?   Below that, probably not.

  • Anonymous

          My good Comrade Modavations is certainly entitled to whatever belief system he embraces, as are we all. But does anyone who has  taken issue with his ideas ever had the slightest sense that he even vaguely grasped what you were trying to say?  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You noticed it too?  He has explained a LOT of it, in past comments, over many past programs!  I hope they find medications that can help him!

  • Curtis

    How about 9-9-9-9-9 !!!

    9% VAT,
    9% sales,
    9% Corporate,
    9% combined FICA…
    0.9% property/wealth  (with credit for local property tax)

    • Curtisr

      Meant 9% income, not Sales…  (VAT is sales/consumption)

  • Lakestate

    What we need is a weighted consumption tax to remove the inefficiency and inequality. Like the Fairtax.

  • Gilscottheron

    his guy should move back to Toronto

  • David

    People. Imagine this. All the wealth you own you can stack up. You and up to 99% of the people in this country would have from nothing to a foot or two. Maybe six or seven feet for those in the top 2%

    The top .01% would go up for hundreds of feet. Into the thousands. 

    That is how much more wealth they have then 99.99%.

    Time to make them pay.

  • Niki Mason

    In all the discussion going on for years and years about tax rates, I’ve never understood how it evolved that the people who are out doing the hard work, getting their hands dirty, producing a product, making a contribution, and using their brains are taxed at a higher rate than the people who are sitting around doing nothing but counting their wealth accumulation are taxed at a higher rate. Makes no sense at all.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The flat tax hurts people who are struggling, so.  But the idea of “imputed rent” for capital that is invested in property that is not currently taxable by the federal government, that’s interesting.  There would be fewer mansions, uninhabited ones, around the world, making us look like Ugly Americans.  People who live like absentee something-or-others.  This seems quite radical, in that mostly I keep hearing that homeowning is a positive for the environment — not the physical environment.  Well, good for lawyers, realtors, and bankers.  Put it like that.  So it’s an interesting “conservative” constituency that sees this kind of investment as unproductive, as compared to investments in, say, businesses.

  • W Bradford

    I may not be the brightest bulb… but i keep wondering, if the US owes Trillions of dollars and we look around, and every other country all over Europe is in the same boat…. who is it that we owe all this money to ?   Who is it that has all this money ?

    • David

      China. The Middle Eastern Oil Countries. Brazil. Japan. Even England.

      The problem is collecting. 

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      Image you had a credit card with no limit.  You spent, spent, and spent.  If the credit card company knew you could not pay, they’d probably place limits on the card.   You wouldn’t be able to use it or any other card until it was paid back.

      The government’s credit card is to print money.  They don’t have the willpower to put limits on how much can be spent and they have no plan on paying it back. 

      Eventually what will happen is the value of the dollar will be worthless.  Wheelbarrows filled with money carted to the store will not buy a loaf of bread.   That’s what happened before and will happen again.

      It could be the social security safety net has been spent.  Some say there is no gold in Fort Knox, where is it?  I can’t answer that question. The better question is what was being spent?  The answer is our future livelihood and civilized form of government.  When it is gone anarchy will rain.

      If anyone wishes to reply, try to keep it an apolitical argument. We are where we are and it is what it is. Get over it and take on the responsibility to change it. Quit blaming the other guy. It’s your government and you are responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.

    • bellavida

      China

  • Robert in Vermont

    Institute the “wealth tax” and wealthy people WILL leave the country, the stock and bond markets will drop as people are forced to sell assets to pay the tax, and upper middle class people who are trying to be sure to have enough for a retirement will be unable save enough without bring subject to it.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NO PATRIOTS?  In the wealthy?   Just the GREEDY RICH?   
          Weren’t they here, when the taxes were higher?  We didn’t have any GREEDY RICH, before ‘W’?

  • Anonymous

    Just for the record, I don’t think that because you can get it you should keep it.  I can leave my faucets running all day, but what I would do to the water level in our drought-plagued Texas aquifer is hell to imagine.  And yet there are people who believe “my well, my water, your tough luck!”  I can also sneak next door and steal the rich neighbor’s jewels but that doesn’t mean I have a right to keep them “’cause I got ‘em!”.  I feel the same way about most forms of “entitlement” and the kings and queens of entitlement in America tend to be the very rich, to a much greater extent than the food-stamp dependent.  “I have, I made it, ergo I deserve it” is what I’m hearing from the well-to-do, not from an elderly friend who couldn’t survive without assistance, no matter how hard she worked until her mid-70′s.

    Maybe we will all learn, for once, the hard numbers — the awful bottom line — on just how much any single Republican candidate could do to our fiscal situation, our deficit. For many of us, the truth deficit has been just as corrosive as the US fiscal deficit.

  • Jeff

    I pay property tax every year on my venicles and my home. I’m not wealthy. What’s the rub.
    Jeff

    • AC

      development and maintenance. you do like clean water, don’t you? it’s not free unfortunately….

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Tom, you continue to say “they” have already paid taxes on their investments. That is wrong or at least if the original income is the “Carried Interest” type then they never paid actual income taxes on it. So please quit speaking wrongly on this all important issue.

    The one issue that needs to be thoroughly talked about is the fact that the TEMPORARY Bush tax cuts did not create the number of jobs it was claimed they would raise and it is nothing short of sheer madness to allow the Republicans to continue to make the majority of Americans hostages to their high net worth masters.

    As for the Estate tax. It is not a death tax, It is a tax on the transfer of wealth either before or after death. If you transfer wealth beyond yearly/lifetime limits then you pay a tax on it.

    The tax system has been so thoroughly gamed by these greedy people that they even attend special programs that teach them how to make sure they transfer the maximum allowable by law to their descendants. The rest of us be damned. 

    It bogggles the mind that so few recognize as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates Senior did that the “pool” of government investment in basic research needs to be replenished or our innovation pipeline will dry up.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    We, the “unwashed savages” (ala Ayn Rand) that are the 99% aren’t trying to punish the wealthy.  We want to see them play by the same rules.  When we, by some miracle, get into the next tax bracket we pay our fair share. I know I’d be more than happy to shell out taxes at the rates under Reagan or Clinton if I was making six or seven figures. 

    I’m not anti-capitalist, nor communist, but really – how much money do I need? If someone can’t figure out how to live on 61% of $1M they to be attending meetings for something that ends in the word “anonymous”. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      VERY GOOD!!

  • David

    STOP SNOWING US WITH THE SMALL BUSINESS EXAMPLES

    WE ARE TALKING ABOUT TAXING THE UBER WEALTHY!!!!!!

    • Ray in VT

      Senator Patrick Leahy couldn’t get the GOP to support a low end number of $100 million for the inheritance tax years ago.  Are those families really small businesses?  This old GOP argument is so flimsy, but people believe it.

  • David

    Right. These churches shouldn’t be tax exempt.

    TAX THEM.

    • Zero

      As much as I would love to see them taxed: they are under the category of “non-profit.”  I know it sounds ridiculous that a church is “non-profit,” but if you only tax them, it will open up a legal can of worms. 

      My hopes are that preachers pay the same tax rates like anyone else.  

  • Appalled Listener

     The justification always seems to be, “this only affects 3% of our population” (percentages vary).  Apply that logic to policies unfair to any other group, and it doesn’t sound very good.

    Just imagine what the tax code would look like, if it had to assign “imputed value” to every possession of a “rich person”.   How do you know what a house is worth without selling it?

    • Joe

      appraisal, how does it work?

      • Appalled Listener

        Oh,  yeah, there won’t be any political finagling in that.

    • lewis

      i’m not too worried, they already own the government and have the best lobbyists huge sums of money can buy.  this discussion is probably already creating lobbyist jobs!

      in all seriousness i think you could skip assessing their possessions and get 90% of the benefit from taxing financial instruments the IRS already knows about and eliminating non-profit foundations, and an exit tax on renouncing citizenship.

  • Anonymous

    We should get rid of tax loopholes exempting religious institutions.  Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize religion.  Also tax their property. 

  • Michael in Putney

    As long as this idea is yoked to a flat tax, then it is just a Trojan horse.

  • N in Massachusetts

    Income is income.  Why should investment income be taxed any differently than earned income?  Taxing both at the same rate would both be fair and add revenue to the government.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • Zero

    Remember Latrell Sprewell of the New York Knicks saying “I got to feed my family” during contract negotiations…?  That’s what rich republicans remind me of.

    • Ray in VT

      What was it his family struggling to get by on?  Was it 6 million?  That was a good one.

      • TFRX

        Didn’t we go an entire hour on the NBA lockout without considering the media wage of a pro basketball player? Wasn’t the chant across our collected media “millionaires v. billionaires”?

        I’m not so eager to repeat that oversight today.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Want to guess how many of the $Millionaires, or $Billionaires of professional sports I personally support?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Terry: Washington, D.C. has a vibrant economy because of the high incomes of LOBBYISTS and companies doing government work that has been PRIVATIZED. Also a lot of DEFENSE DEPARTMENT work. Civil servants are NOT overpaid; those claiming they are ignore the education and skill level needed for their jobs which would earn them as much in private industry.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      We pay a LOT more for ‘contractors’ to do the same jobs!  Plus, there is a LOT LESS control over them.  Plus, their superiors get paid a LOT MORE!  Plus the ‘Contractor’ company makes a PROFIT!

      • Ray in VT

        I think that Andrew Sullivan recently had a piece about how contractors often cost something like twice as much for the some outcome as a regular worker.

        • Modavations

          All states should be right to work.That approach  alone would fill the tax coffers,due to increased economic activity

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Right to work for peanuts?  Right to work for abusive bosses?   Right to work, without Safety protection, because the boss ‘thinks you can do the work without the equipment’?

  • ockitaris

      we need to cap how wealthy an individual can get.    Trying to maintain the illusion of freedom is causing the disasters awaiting us if we don’t change.    Actually taxing the wealthy makes the government dependent on the wealthy.   We need to completely change from a consuming society to conserving society we need to move from a competitive society to a cooperative society.    Giving such power(=money/wealth) to 1% of society creates a second government which is not democratic and there wealth appears to be based on the destruction of the environment.   Disaster awaits    

    • concerned

      You don’t get it. No one is “Giving” wealth to the 1%. Where did you get the idea it was “given” ????? So it’s okay for you to take away their hard earned wealth simply because you “think” someone else gave it to them. You muse not be an American living in freedom, where are you from? 

      • Ellen Dibble

        If you had six million dollars, you would have a lot of gains (not necessarily realized, i.e., cashed in, but accumulating interest and dividends in various funds,or maybe appreciating in value on their own) that are not earned, certainly not “hard earned.”  The seed for that may have been from another generation altogether.   That is the issue.  There is an advantage to working hard in these United States, but there is also a very substantial advantage just to Being Ahead in terms of wealth.

  • Anonymous

    Why does the Mormon church tithe Romney’s investment income at the same rate as his earned income?  They are killing jobs!

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Charitable donations isn’t the “tax loophole” most people care about. That does some good in the world. But how does a tax deduction for jets benefit anyone than the wealthiest people and businesses? 

    • notafeminista

      The Earned Income Tax Credit doesn’t benefit me. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thank your lucky stars that your income is high enough that it doesn’t!  I do!

        • notafeminista

          It’s not because I have an high income.  Read up on who is eligible some day.

          • bellavida

            if you go to a state school…you have to be poverty level to get any aid.   If you get into an Ivy League school, if you don’t (or parents don’t) you will get a generous package.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        But it’s not like the people that get that are hitting Vegas with it.

        Ok, a few might, sure. There are always people that will do something that most think they probably shouldn’t do in any situation. 

        But, speaking as someone that does get it.  That money goes for child care (not cheap), fixing the house that always seems to have a new issue crop up, fixing the used car (because we can never afford a new one), catching up on bills, and hopefully some is left as a cushion for times (like now) when illness has limited the income for a time. 

        • notafeminista

          Your point being of course that tax deductions benefits a limited few.  My point is so does the earned income tax credit but no one talks about that.

          • notafeminista

            I qualify for neither the jets nor the EITC.  Where does my cushion for bad times come in?

          • Ray in VT

            That is a rub, isn’t it?  One of my college roommates didn’t qualify for financial aid because his parents made too much, but they didn’t have enough to really foot the bill, so, like many of us, he got saddled with debt.

          • notafeminista

            Why?  I paid my way through college and finished in 4 years debt free.

            We all make choices.  That is a rub isn’t it.

          • Ray in VT

            We do, but people don’t choose to be born poor.  I chose to get a masters degree, which I needed to get the job that I wanted.  It’s costing me, but the long term benefit should be positive.

            If you got through debt free, then good for you.  Did you get financial aid?  I don’t know anyone who was able to pony up for a degree straight out of high school on their own, and I knew a lot of people working two jobs in college.

          • notafeminista

            No I didn’t get financial aid.  I planned so well that I started college just prior to the economy tanking and gas at $4 a gallon while I commuted 30 miles to school one way.  Brilliant huh? ;) 

            At any rate, no I did not have financial aid of any sort.  I drove a 14 yr old car, bought clearance and closeout and didn’t take a vacation for 6 years. What I did do was paid my bills first and budgeted the rest quite stringently.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, congratulations to you, then.  You have done what many could not.  Even working two jobs now I don’t think that I could pay for college unless I compelled my family to live in our car.  I am a big fan of being frugal, maybe even cheap, but if it had not been for financial aid, then there is no way that I could have gone to college.

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            I was able to do it.  Went to SIUE.  Received a degree in Computer Science.  Worked the evening and mid night shift as a Phlebotomist at St. Louis University Hospital on weekends and lived with my parents.  Paid as I went, never received any scholarships, grants, or required a single loan.  My father passed a way my freshman year.  It took five years to complete the program.  I borrowed two or three hundred dollars from my mother a couple times in the five years which I paid her back.   I know it was a while back.  1987 to be exact.  Though I suggest the formula I described has not changed in acquiring a cost effective degree.

            I was fortunate to have a mother providing moral support to motivate the completion of a degree. I tell you all this because there are cost effective alternatives.  One suggestion is to maintain dual enrolment at a two year college where you can take the general studies courses at a fraction of the cost.  Class size is typically smaller and you learn the same subject.  Make sure your four year university allows the credits to transfer.

            This is just one example, I’m sure there others.

          • notafeminista

            People don’t choose to be born rich either.

          • TFRX

            It doesn’t matter if Nota got FinAid, it matters that some people don’t, and they are therefore better, more Randian, people.

          • bellavida

            So did I.  However since I graduated tuition has skyrocketed inside of 10 years (beyond the rate of inflation) and for the regular middle class, it is getting difficult for people to do the same.  Also…look up the salaries for college grads for spring 2012.   Salaries are markedly from the last 2 years.  What does that tell you?  Across all disciplines.

          • Anonymous

            Just because you personally can’t claim it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a benefit from it.  The EITC helps people leave welfare by offsetting low wages.  Would you rather they decide that they make more sitting on their asses and collecting government money or working?

          • notafeminista

            People who buy jets pay my salary. 

        • notafeminista

          Furthermore, those with children already claim children as dependents/deductions, then get a tax credit on top of that for the EITC.

          And they call the rich greedy?

  • Pete

    Tom,

      Your guest’s lobbying for taxing “imputed rental value” is a very odd piece of reasoning. If Barry Bonds does ever rent out his property he WILL pay a tax on that income. If he doesn’t, the rental value is an imagined asset not a real one. If the mansion’s value is increased because it can be rented out that is reflected in the market value of the house, which he plays a real estate tax on. Doesn’t sound much like a conservative idea at all.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • David

    Why shouldn’t we take from the criminal rich?

    MUCH OF THEIR WEALTH IS STOLEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I agree  with you! 

      You are right much of their wealth is stolen through taxation!

      • Zero

        Is there such a thing as an economic system bent against the middle and lower classes?

        • Anonymous

          Yes, any progressive tax system is bent against the middle and lower classes.  This is so be cause when someone in the middle and lower class improve their income, they get taxed at a higher rate penalizing anyone who is upwardly mobile.  While this is so, the rich are protected because they can just make a steady income and maintain their wealth, while anyone who is poor has to fight against the progressive tax rate to achieve an equal wealth.

          • Zero

            Oh so in other words, there is only one viable economic theory for all economic conditions.  Who knew?  Imagine, we could have world peace if there were only supply side economics everywhere.

            We have a progressive tax code right now, and the only ones being penalized are the poor and middle class.  Nobody is being taxed out of the upper class.  That is not at all the case.

          • Anonymous

            I am glad to hear you are a fan of a flat tax too.

          • TFRX

            More reading comprehension fail, bub.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            50% of $4 Million is $2 Million.  50% of $15,000, is $7,000. 
                HOW is your flat tax fair to the $15,000 earner, who likely cannot survive?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        HOW SO?  The rich have had taxes lowering since JFK, and So many LOOPHOLES, that some of them pay NO taxes on $MILLIONS, or $BILLIONS!
            WHINE  for the poor $MILLIONAIRES?

        • Anonymous

          I agree that all loopholes are unconstitutional, but the only way to get around this would be to throw out the current tax code and get a flat tax.    

          Tax loopholes are unconstitutional because our government must treat everyone the same, and we must all play by the same rules and tax loopholes are by design ways to avoid this!

  • Ellen Dibble

    One panelist is saying boost the tax on consumption and we’re home free.  Aren’t I hearing this morning that apparently consumption is getting untied, and therefore there are more jobs, and more tax-paying Americans?  Taxing consumption is taxing necessities if you’re talking about certain income levels (depending on medical expenses, for instance, and depending on say the mortgage deduction), but if taxing consumption refers to taxing home-building, that’s something else.  For a couple of years, that home-building is also job-creation.

  • Mike

    I don’t think that a democracy can endure when it has a majority of the people voting themselves benefits at the expense of a tax-paying minority.  The US seems to be close to that condition now.  To my mind, the most significant advantage  to a flat tax would be that everyone would be the more responsible governance that would result when everyone has some “skin in the game”.  Not to mention the economic benefit of freeing up many thousands of IRS bureaucrats and tax lawyers to engage in productive employment.

    • TFRX

      You lost me and many others with “skin in the game”.

      We are dealing with tens of millions of people who haven’t had a raise since the beginning of the economic expansion begun early last decade, let alone the Great Recession. (And don’t call them “lazy”. This ain’t Rush Limbaugh’s show.)

      Where is your fretting, your moral hazard, for the rich?

      • AC

        or the raise isn’t at the same growth rate as cost of living….

        • TFRX

          If one’s income doesn’t keep up with inflation–no matter the flaws in that “official” rate–I don’t count it as a raise.

          I mean, when people like Mitt who keep accountants on retainer ask , “How’d we do this year?”, he wants the inflation rate factored in. The hoi polloi deserve the same consideration.

      • Rom-Money

        The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • Anonymous

    jeffe68 did NOT say,or even imply that everyone should work for the government; he WAS saying that government workers ARE PRODUCTIVE! They DO provide a value added!

    • Zero

      The economic multiplier over the last 30 years has been 1:1.8.

  • TFRX

    Caller Joe at :49 tried to link this to Marxism.

    For the last 3 1/2 years so many righties and gullible centrists have been shreiking “Communism” that it doesn’t even register anymore. It’s just white noise now.

    • Ray in VT

      Didn’t that well known Communist Adam Smith say something about how those who have more owe more?

      • TFRX

        The only thing funnier than Fundies picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to believe in is laissez faire sorts who do the same to Adam Smith.

  • David

    Hey Joe from Pittsburg who thinks this sound Communist get this. 

    Tax the criminal rich who have bought and paid for our politicians to write the laws that benefit only them or the people of this country are going to take it.

    Have you ever opened a history book?

  • Anonymous

    All this talk about people investing in businesses through the purchase of stock is bull.  Unless you purchase stock directly from the company, all you are doing is paying some other investor who purchased it from some other investor.  The company doesn’t see a penny of that money.

  • Sandra

    DOES THIS NEED TO BE SO COMPLICATED?  IF WE SEEK A FAIR TAX SYSTEM, WHY NOT KEEP OUR EXISTING GRADUATED TAX SCALE, BUT INCLUDE ALL INCOME SOURCES, INCLUDING CAPITAL GAINS AT THE APPROPRIATE SCALED RATE FOR EVERYONE, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, ELIMINATING TAX PREFERENCES FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS.

    WE ALREADY HAVE WAYS OF TAXING ACCUMULATED WEALTH, I.E., PROPERTY TAXES ON REAL ESTATE, LUXURY TAXES FOR YACHTS, ETC.  

    IF THE TAX RATES WERE TRULY FAIR, WOULD WE HAVE THE HUGE AND GROWING WEALTH GAP THAT WE’VE SEEN IN RECENT DECADES?  

    A FLAT TAX CAN NOT POSSIBLY BE FAIR.

    SANDRA
    MASSACHUSETTS

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

    • Appalled Listener

      On the contrary, a flat tax is the DEFINITION of fair.  Make twice as much, pay twice as much.  Include ALL income at the same rate, no exemptions.

      A graduated tax cannot possibly be fair.

      • Ray in VT

        Fair in a particular sense, I suppose, but taking 10% out of low income earners very high income earners affects them much more.  In the sense that such a tax would hamper the ability of certain individuals to cover basic much more than others.

        • Ellen Dibble

          I don’t know if the flat tax takes away the FICA deduction, the standard deduction, all that, but yes, the upward mobility of the bottom is much more affected than those with say $70,000 a year, let alone the ability of those at the bottom to stay out of foxholes, homeless shelters, and so on.

          • Yar

            Any flat tax has to consider healthcare, and other hidden taxes.
            I like how people use percentages to say that it is fair to treat everyone the same, only to exclude huge parts of the total tax burden.   47 percent pay no income tax, yet they work for those who do, it is their labor that creates the wealth in the first place,  or employers pay half of social security.  Who believe any employer keeps a worker who don’t earn their total compensation.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        50% of $2 Million is $1 Million, 50% of $20,000 is $10,000.  Does one of them become destitute?  Both of them destitute?
           There is a minimum income required to get by.  Why tax someone in that group at the same rate as someone with $Billions?

  • Andy Addleman

    Why isn’t the Fair Tax discussed more in this type of conversation?

    • David

      Because there nothing fair about the “fair tax”.

      The uber wealthily and the simply rich make out like bandits and the rest of the population falls further and further behind.

  • AC

    i can see Ruth’s point. in many places, might makes right. wealthy people in this country are protected. or we could all become mexican drug lords and pile up bodies of our enemies in front of schools to get our message in while they’re still young…!

  • Still Here

    First thing we do is layoff 1/4 of the people working in government, then we cut government pensions and benefits by 1/4; then we say another 1/4 will be laid off based on merit.  Watch government become more efficient. 

    • TFRX

      I’ve got a collapsed bridge to sell you.

      • Modavations

        How much was the bridge.We have guys lugged left and right,in Boston,for embezzlement of the welfare agencies they administer.When they return the funds they stole from our poor,I’ll redirect it for your bridge.Evidently the embezzelers didn’tn think the poor really needed it

        • Terry Tree Tree

          By all means, keep them in jail until they pay FULL restitution, and the FULL sentence for their crimes!
             Embezzlement of public funds is more than one crime!

      • notafeminista

        The Big Dig in Boston?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, sure.  I live in a red state where many say the same thing you’re saying.  It’s a state whose well-being depends to a large extent on the well-being of cattle ranchers.  During the current drought (and in other tough times) deeply conservative cattle ranchers depend heavily on subsidies just to keep going.  Those subsidies come from what they call the “damn fed’ral gubment” which is not damned by them when they need it!  The people who get the blame are the people who get not millions in subsidies for supplemental cattle feed and trucked in water but those who get a few dollars’-worth of food stamps or medical care. 

      I vote we look at government management issues before we look at who gets how much from the government.  I’m with those cattle ranchers and with people who can’t get a job and need help.  The people I’m against are the robber barons and the political skimmers — the members of Congress who see the most important part of their job is getting elected to another term and who will accept anyone’s money just to achieve their personal ambition.

    • Steve

      Thank you Scott – please stay off the computer and return to efficient job creation in Wisconsin.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Start with the highest paid ‘government workers’ !  They HAVE to be the least-efficient, because they spend so much time getting elected, and do the least work, by far, of ‘government workers’, according to pay and benefits!

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Taxing people for having expensive things isn’t the way. If they earned the money, paid the taxes on the thing they bought with that money, then let them have it. That would be, to my mind, double taxation.  The 1% need to pay their fair share at the onset, like the 99% of us do.

    It would be a slippery slope because, in effect, a millionaire trust fund baby could live in a tar-paper shack and not be taxed, but someone that worked hard, saved their money,and  invested modestly, and goes and buys some nice things is being penalized for it.

    • lewis

      > in effect, a millionaire trust fund baby could live in > a tar-paper shack and not be taxed,

      the point is to tax the trust fund, not the shack.
      if we are worried about double taxation, why not drop the income tax.  doesn’t it make more sense to tax piles of unearned wealth than to create a disincentive to earn income through productive activity?

      you could get most of the benefit while ignoring physical assets

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        Tax the income, not that they have the trust fund or the things they buy with it. 

        My house is modest where I am. But plop it down in NYC, LA, Chicago and you’re adding a zero or two to it’s worth.  The house didn’t change.  How does anyone say that because the house is worth a million that the people are “rich” and need to be taxed for having that house?  There are lots of middle income people in big cities in modest houses that cam with BIG price tags.  So who judges?  Me? You?  The IRS?  Real Estate agents?

        Farmers would be out of business if that were the case. A small farm can easily have a million or more tied up in acreage, buildings, equipment, livestock, but their bank books show little actual income.  So would the IRS now just look at that and say “You have a new $250K combine, and 200 acres, so you owe us $XXXXX.”  And that would happen every year? 

        “Capital gains” needs to go the way of the dodo.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Maybe that farm should become an LLC, or an S corporation.  I’m not a tax attorney by a long shot, but there are corporate taxes, and there are individual taxes, and it seems to me that businesses seem to proceed from generation to generation without a hitch. Think of IBM, AT&T, Bank of America, General Electric.  None of them taxed to extinction by the estate tax.  Oh, those are publicly traded?  Again, I’m not a tax lawyer.  But there is a reason even solo practitioners (doctors, lawyers) get those initials at the end of their business names.

          • Scott B, Jamestown NY

            I’m sure some do just that, but the idea being proposed is that a person, or biz, be taxed on what they have.  

            The IRS isn’t going to differentiate  the fact that the new $250K combine just replaced the rusty POS combine, nor that it’s a combine and not a Ferarri; nor that the 200 acres are fields full of hay and cows and not a summer home on the banks of the Hudson River. 

          • TFRX

            Really? (Seriously asking here.)

            I’d like a real farmer or tax attorney to unpack this.

            And the answer may say more about the accounting games played by people who can buy Ferraris than IRS tax structure and depreciation skeds for farms.

    • Rom-Money

      Rom-Money

  • David

    Douglas Holtz-Eakin, From 2001 to 2002 he was chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush.
    WHY WOULD We LISTEN TO THIS GUY?

    BUSH AND HIS POLICIES CAUSED ECONOMIC DISASTER IN THIS COUNTRY!

    • Modavations

      Socialism-communism caused dislocation in this country and in every country it infected

      • Zero

        Was John Maynard Keynes a communist or a capitalist?

        • Modavations

          communist.From his teachings came the 5 year plan

          • Zero

            Okay, were the 1940s and 50s, a communist America or a Capitalist America?

          • Modavations

            Since 1776

          • Anonymous

            Moda just told you that the 1940′s and the 1950′s were communist And capitalist at the same time since 1776. What a history lesson.

  • Redwheel57

    Too much right-wing propaganda on this show!

    • Modavations

      Too much free speech is what you reject

      • TFRX

        You equate “free speech” with “the right to be on a nationally broadcast radio program”?

        Nuff ced.

  • Dan

    I have a masters degree and can expect to make $2.5 million in my life.  Why on earth should I care how high people are taxed who make this much in a year.  Put it at 90% for income and capital gains, no problem.

  • Anonymous

    Income Tax is a Surtax on the wealthy?  Really???  For the past 15+ years, our tax structure has shifting so that now the highest tax rates are levied against wage income tax and away from “passive” income tax.  In other words, the people who go out and work for a living pay more than people who “earn” their income from the work of others.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

    • lewis

      it will happen, but only after the last private jet leaves for south america

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    To MODOVATIONS and others who think Social Security is a rip off. It is not only a retirement plan, that is the first thing you need to learn. The original act was called “The Old Age Survivors and Disability Income Act” OASDI Act for short. The thing many don’t realize is it is also a disability plan that covers not only the worker, but each of their immediate family members and dependents. It also pays a benefit if the wage earner dies before the child reaches the age of 18 and it covers the “surviving” spouse as well. Go price a lifetime of disability coverage for yourself, your family for their early lives and your spouse. So before you start attacking Social Security I’d suggest you learn what it really is.

    Side note, Railroad workers have their own program and are not subject to Social Security.

    Social Security is salvageable if we are willing to raise retirement age a little, tax all earned income and keep a definite cap on benefits. It is meant to be one of three legs of a persons retirement stool. It was never meant to be a stand alone retirement program.

    • Modavations

      The solons spent the 2.5 trillion S.S surplus ages ago.Social Security is covered by worthless,untradeable IOU’s.The payroll tax holiday is for the taxes that fund the project.The moths that fly out the lock box are worth more then the paper the iou’s are written on.Iou’s from one govt.hack agency to another.I’m gonna join the railroad

      • Anonymous

        So you are calling for the federal government to selectively default on the bonds to its own citizen that secure the Social Security surplus, while honoring those virtually identical obligations to wealthy investors, many of whom are rich foreigners, who bought the bonds as the safest investment in the world. 

        That figures.

  • Larryrussellslater

    So you or one of your guests advocate taxing Paris Hilton on what she buys, vs. not taxing the late Mr. Walton because he largely saved money and created (minimum wage or LESS!) jobs.

    Now personally, I’ve thought since she hit the national stage that Paris Hilton is, each times she draws breath, as a waste of fresh air. However, what about those who manufacture the cars, craft the jewelry, hand-sew the expensive (albeit limited) clothing she wears? Are you advocating, in all seriousness, cutting the jobs of those who create, simply because their creations are purchased by a worthless air head?!

  • Deb from Des Moines

    The income tax is already a surtax on the wealth?!  Let’s switch that around:  The low wages that those at the bottom receive are subsidizing the wealthy — with inexpensive food, lawn care, a night on the town … many goods and services.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Excuse me?   Your comment seems contradictory to me?

  • Kim

    I’ve heard more than one economist lately suggesting that cutting taxes on the richest citizens encourages speculation and creates bubbles like the one we experienced during the Bush administration.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • http://twitter.com/teflaime teflaime

    If you are going to revamp the tax structure, you also have to revamp the budget process – Get rid of the “Unified budget” that finances everything through payroll taxes – Pay every thing from the general fund – set the over all tax rate for that, and then we can quit hearing about how only 47% of Americans pay income taxes, as if income taxes. Payroll taxes are generally more burdensome to the very poor anyway. Getting rid of them, adjusting the over all personal deduction and then setting the income tax rates at a realistic level will fix a lot of these class and tax questions re: income taxes anyway. 

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for your clearly informed and rational comment.  Unfortunately, it goes right over the heads of almost every person who votes Republican.  The sad truth is that only a small minority of our citizens have even the foggiest idea of how taxes are assessed and collected and how and for what revenue is spent by their government.  But they get to vote too, so here we are.

  • Anonymous

    A simple question for all those who refer to the “greedy” rich and the “evil” wealthy and resent any efforts on their part to reduce their taxes. When you win 10,000,000 dollars in the lottery, will you try to take home as much as you can? If so, join the club.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If I win the $10 Million, I’ll let you know on here, much of how it went!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        If I win, make, inherit, $10 Million, there WILL be jobs created, and others WILL be helped!  New Rescue and Fire-Fighting equipment and methods will be available!  More environmentally-friendly Energy will be made available! 
           Next question?

        • Anonymous

          That’s not what I asked, Terry. Please don’t pull a Moda on me. Once again, “If You Win 10,000,000 dollars, will you try to take home as much as you can?”

          • Terry Tree Tree

            For the purpose of achieving my stated goals, and with the provision that I would NOT use bogus ‘investments’, or immoral tax havens, etc…, I admit that I would try to keep the IRS share as low as I reasonably can. 
               Since I was 16, I have had IRS taking some of my pay, and said little about it.   More money doesn’t equal more fuss on my part.  I have always paid my taxes, since 16.

  • Still Here

    Right now our tax code encourages consumption of all sorts but especially of Chinese TVs, Malay computers, Thai apparel and Korean knick-knacks.  I guess we think that makes sense.

  • Salzburg

    The wealthy are not reinvesting their money in America. They invest in the big corporations that take production outside of the US. They build new facilities outside of the US. They create jobs outside of the US. Wealth tax is a must!

    • Modavations

      25% of everything created on the planet is made in the USA

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money

  • Ellen Dibble

    No one talks about the risk-takers who are fresh out of college, with say $40,000 in debt, who have to borrow more to start their business, are working at the ground level, where they had better know what the community needs, in terms of their knowledge, and their deployment of that knowledge in new enterprise.  All that debt is costing them to proceed, to grow, to hire, to succeed.
        Take the same sense of enterprise on the part of an investment firm, with plenty of money to use.  These people can hire specialists to study community needs, to hire skilled people to proceed.  And these are people who already have a capital flow from previous investments.  These are people with enough money that what person A (above) perceives as risk and experiences as decades-long cost, by person B (with the silver spoon, so to speak) sees as a no-lose opportunity, to make maybe more money, maybe less.  
        But basically those at the bottom, in order to be enterprising and succeed will pay interest payments, and those at the top will be using profits, and collecting interest, as they proceed.  Money, especially with the algorithms and computers we now have, and the connectivity, is able to inflate itself in ways it could not a century ago.  
       That is a problem to social integrity and fertility, besides to our national budget balancing act.

  • Tina

    I  can’t believe I’m saying this!!!  I’m a Scandinavian-style Social Democrat, but I wonder what would happen to some of the gorgeous areas of my State if the wealthy people who owned the large tracts of gentleman farmer land with architecturally “honest” houses — many in authentic “American” styles — were taxed in this way.  These pieces of real estate, apparently, stay in families for generations; and they are so refreshingly “modest” (ironically!!) compared to the “new wealth” homes that so often pretentiously mar the landscape.  We frequently drive thru these areas to enjoy their incredible beauty — AND, get this! — their oceanside settings!  Some other areas of our State are like this only more “urban” from colonial era land plotting.  Those areas bring in a lot of tourist and entertainment money to the State from the tourists and locals who go to these areas particularly BECAUSE the architecture and the settings are gorgeous.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I worry about changes to these areas I love to drive thru.  Will foreign investors buy up the land that gets abandoned due to this tax, tear down our American architectural history, and replace these beautiful places with what?  Certainly not with anything that represents America’s history:  some of these places have buildings from colonial times, but most begin at the federal period, and many of these areas, as I said, have the creative, authentic American styles that our designers created from the 1870′s thru 1929.  I try to act on behalf of the truly disadvantaged every day; yet, I’m in love with architectural history.  It seems like the “takers”, like Romney, are the ones whose behavior — like figuring out to go to the Cayman Islands — should do the right thing instead of forcing possibly risky solutions on us, where, one more time, we STILL lose.  Still, overall, I DO know that the lives of those in need are MORE significant than these worries; but I just hope for some feedback.  Thanks!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      50% of $2 Million, is still $1 Million.  Some of us get by on a LOT less!
          The WHINING that I keep reading and hearing, makes it sound like they will be destitute!   Maybe they should ACTUALLY try destitute, for 5 to 10 years, and then they would realize they WON’T be destitute, with $1 Million?

  • Yar

    A whole hour and not one word on the health tax.  I haven’t been to the doctor in three years, and have spent thousands of dollars of my limited resources paying for the health care of others and dividends of investors in insurance companies.  The health tax isn’t even called a tax.  It is called insurance.  I would prefer a single payer system that only took 10 percent of GDP than our for profit system that costs us nearly 20 percent.

    • Mike

      10%?  Dream on!  If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You would eliminate the ‘jobs’ of GREEDY rich, Lazyeee Fairyee, DEATH PANEL, insurance company executives?

      • Yar

        Actually no, I would evolve insurance companies into medical record companies.  They already collect the information, they should share what they collect with clinicians.  In my state we are getting push back from the insurance industry saying that can’t make a profit by spending 80 percent of premium dollars on care.  I would expect the electronic medical record could be maintained for less than ten percent health care spending.  We have to develop a universal E medical record.  We can’t afford the mistakes of not having one.   Just think what will happen when we  make healthcare as safe as air travel.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I like your idea!

  • Modavations

    Democrats want everyone equally poor.Laissez faire types want everyone equally affluent

    • Zero

      Republicans want everyone to live in a trailer park and controlled by the plutocracy just like them.

      • Ray in VT

        Not to defend Modavations, but many Republicans are not laissez-faire.  Many want their church to run your life.  They favor government action, just as long as it pushes their religion into your life.

        • Zero

          Oh, I know.  The classical liberal is a rarity.

        • Modavations

          20% of my mates are socialist-communist and none of us have a religious bone in our bodies.Most of us are atheist-agnostics.I do,however,find the lord when taking off and landing in a jet

          • Ray in VT

            Well, they do say that there are no atheists in foxholes, but I don’t believe it.

          • Modavations

            Religion is a survival tool.Let’s you face death without shrieking.Just a product of Natural Selection.Hippies are buddhist,or Giai acolytes,because Christianty isn’t chic

          • Zero

            Is Warren Buffet a communist or a capitalist?

          • Modavations

            Ask himwhat his philosphies of money were before he became rich.

          • Zero

            You are an idiot.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Rather typical ‘Christian’, evidently!  You only want ‘God’, when you want help?

          • Modavations

            Good god man,that was levity.Did you really see no humor

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Forgot the “J”?  B.C. education, or the other memory-disolvers you have mentioned?

          • TFRX

            You’re the last person on the board who should wonder aloud why people can’t differentiate between your brand of humor and your “factual assertions”.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            From you, your promised “J”, or I see no humor.

      • Modavations

        We want everyone rich so you’ll by our products.Let Adam Smith’s invisible hand ,do the redistribution please

        • Zero

          …Ah yes, the warm, gentle hand of the free market. 

          • Ray in VT

            Well, no one said that it was warm or gentle.  It can be harsh and brutal, which was part of the reason that societies have tried to smooth out the cycles and create some sort of base level.

          • Modavations

            That’s the reason the West shines and your Mother Russia headed for the ash heap of history

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Please explain this Lazyeee Fairyee thing you and Barney Frank have going, that you champion so much?

      • Modavations

        Terry I implore you,I beg you,I will become a Dem.for a week,if you just don’t start stalking me with your immaturities.Just make an intellectual riposte.”Layzeee Fairyee”

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Who wants you to be a Democrat?  NOT me! 
             How about a week doing rescue work, in the busyiest traffic wreck area of the country?  You HAVE  to be appropriately trained, for them to allow you to work a wreck!

  • Robotcaruso

    The wealthy consume the freedoms and protections of this country at a much higher rate I.e. iraque war, highways, ports etc.. Taxes should reflect this.

  • Still Here

    We should tax healthy people for being healthy for good health is the richest asset one can have.  Let’s say 30% to start.

    • AC

      that’s dumb. a civil society cares about the health of all it’s people. less guilt & less chance of desperate measures reeking havoc

      • Still Here

        and we don’t care about their wealth?

        People who are responsible and focus on their health should be willing to pay more for those less fortunate through no fault of their own.  Lots of people have good health without doing anything, they’re lucky to have good genes.  That is no excuse, they need to be taxed.  What would you say to 25%?

        • AC

          what? would you rather a free for all of black market organ theft? – to equate healthy people to wealthy people is silly. tax healthy people more, a wasteful argument to make here. make sure health care is part of taxes and your society, period.
          Altho, i only know 1 person (2nd hand through my sis) who had something taken, but it’s a growing problem. too bad it usually winds up transplanting in THIS country…lots of people paying people to turn heads, so that makes wealthy people look suspicious (not fair, i know, but there it is).
          we could try cloning them, but there was a show about right to life protection on clones-i guess your kidney houses your ‘soul’….or actually, i don’t think anyone answered my question on this….

  • guest

    As usual, the “conservative” bunch among your guests are making a series of false and debunked claims, e.g., the impact of inheritance tax on the so-called small business. There is no such link except in the GOP’s propaganda machine that works hard to elevate the rich to the new aristocratic status exempt from any obligations to society that allowed them to become and stay obscenely wealthy. 

    • Modavations

      Here comes Ultrax

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5UQ5B7LIGFBAN4TO2ZH36AFX24 Mark

    Mitt Romney also pays 10 percent of his earnings to the Morman church, Just like many Mormans do. A good portion of the funds that go to the Church of Jesus Christ go to help those in need. Why isn’t this in the news? There was a mention that Charitable donations should be taxed. That would be a mistake.

    • Anonymous

      A good portion goes to McMansion cathedrals and sending people all over the world to annoy people and/or convert them.

      • TFRX

        What does the LDS say about
        “conscientious objector pharmacists”?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That is their choice!  Taxes on the working-class are NOT!

  • concerned

    What makes them think they are entitled to anyone’s wealth? Are they entitled to take the children from families with more than two children? This is beginning to sound very gestapo.

    • Zero

      Since when does a 3% tax hike on the rich viewed as a radical proposal?

      Isn’t radical to be so religiously against a modest tax hike on the rich? 

      • Anonymous

        We don’t really have a taxing problem, we have a spending problem.  Increasing taxes only helps the government continue spending money hand over fist on worthless things like researching shrimp on treadmills!

        • Zero

          Cutting taxes and going to war is America’s problem.

          • Anonymous

            Federal tax revenues increased every year after the bush tax cuts went into effect.  

            How exactly do you think that this is a problem?  

          • Zero

            No tax revenues did not increase every year under Bush.  If you look at the Revenue-to-GDP ratio, it went down under Bush and was lower under Bush than any year under Clinton.  If the Clinton tax rates were in place, we would be about $2.5-$3 trillion less poor.

        • Zero

          By the way, get rid of publish or parish, and then the research will be more productive.

        • AC

          i posted earlier about a direct example which disproves this statement. it’s foolish to think this…

        • AC

          ha! my case proven case #2!! (re: gov ‘over-spending’)
          look at URS over-inflating and duplicating invoices for work done at Logan – gov has to choose these under/low bids but it ends up costing us more! these companies hire people specifically to sic on public works jobs & wind up profiting anyway. i’d rather $75mil go into a fund for single mothers to cover milk costs (or similar), then into the pocket of 20 or so top level managers and super’s (speculating here on that #), they aren’t sharing that with the union guys people…. 

    • Ray in VT

      I see nothing wrong with people being obliged to contribute some of their earnings back into the society which has provided the basis for them to earn their wealth.

      Also, not to pick on you specifically, but why must people use the Nazi references?  Gestapo, capos, so and so is like Hitler.  It’s really just irritating.

    • Anonymous

      Who are “they?” We, the people, are entitled to tax the use or our money. As Jesus would say, “That ain’t your face on the dollar.”

  • Rom-Money

    The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I read in these comments that if the wealthier were wealthier, they would rain down money and jobs on the middle class.  I suppose they would take aid to the lowest class as a tax deduction too.  And I’m thinking been there, done that, seen the upshot.  I’m thinking I can’t really understand so much, and after listening to Holtz-Eakin I’m not inclined to believe much of what any economist says about the state of our budget, our productivity, or whatever.  Let me use my own perception.  So what do I think of Romney?  All the time he sounds to me like a used car salesman, somewhat breathless, very eager about making a sale, and even if I buy the maximum warrantee available, I’ll end up driving in a dangerous heap, to the extent it is even driveable.  We’ve had that economy, and Obama is holding it up to an extent I wish he didn’t have to.  So I’ll skip the specialists and use a gut reaction.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I understand why Mitt Romney can pay 15 percent tax because the Government allowed him to pay only 15 percent. There is a LOOP HOLE in our Tax System. it is not Romney’s fault the he found that loop hole. he found a way to pay less tax to save his hard earn money from his investment,speech fees etc etc.

    That is Legal. The problems is the IRS not Romney.

    • Yar

      That is like blaming the police for current laws.   The IRS does not write the tax code, they only enforce it, legislators make law. They are elected to office through campaign contributions, which are funded largely by the wealthy. We have a representative form of democracy; for wealth. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Whatever….

        Yes the Police don’t write the law but they  CAN manipulate the law. you should know that by now.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        by the way, I never mentioned that the IRS writes the tax code, I wrote revised the IRS tax codes or law.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      If I earned my money legally and can find away to less tax I will do the same. I might even invest in other countries to avoid US Taxes. If a Chinese restaurant can keep the receipt from the food that they delivered and keep those receipt for tax credit why not?

      if you buy a Hybrid car to have tax credit why not?
      if a business owner used an SUV to deliver the merchandize to the customers that will also be tax credit.

      There a lot of loop hole in the US tax system you just have to hire a good tax lawyer to find you a good tax credit.

      • Anonymous

        Good points all. But there’s no such device as a “loop Hole” in tax law, or any other aspect of law. It’s just the law. Loop hole is a term usually used by people who don’t like that particular law or regulation. If people don’t like “Loop Holes,” there’s a thing called the vote that might be effective. But in a country with one of the worst voter turnout records of all democratic nations, that qualifies as a pipe dream. That’s why whatever reasonable goals the enthusiastic but muddled occupy movement might have don’t stand a tinker’s chance of success. For every one of them there are thousands of American citizens who’ll never read a newspaper, visit a newsite, or go to the polling place.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          I called it Loop Hole because I don’t know what term to use.

          • Anonymous

                I hope you realize there was no offense meant. Every one calls them loopholes.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            i understand.

  • Rom-Money

    The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Yes we read your Rom-Money multiple times already.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Doesn’t Great Britain have a tax on property (wealth) that is something like what McKinnon proposes?  And therefore the aristocracy there turn their properties into museums, or cater to touring groups, providing a sort of hotel with part of the property? 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Internal Revenue is the Problem not Mitt Romney. if only the IRS can revised their tax codes or laws I think a lot more of the 1 percent will pay higher taxes., around 30 percent or more.

  • Anonymous

    Hoarded wealth is the downfall of capitalistic systems. The arguments that wealthy investors are the “engines of economic growth” is true only so long as they actually invest the funds. The money has to be in circulation to “drive” the economy. In fact, the libertarian model (nothing like fiscal conservatism as the founders of the GOP would have understood it)  has been in place for the past thirty years, and has bought us the current debt, the inching of our economy toward third world status, and has delivered none of the benefits claimed by Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and crew. Professor McKinnon’s piece should be subtitled “A Proposal to Return to Conservative Economic Policy.”

    • TomK in Boston

      That’s exactly right. We have been trying voodoo econ for 30 years and the results are in, but the media insist on discussing policy and voodoo theory with total disregard of the evidence. How can they keep talking about the TeaOP tax cut proposals without mentioning that we have been cutting taxes for 30 years, they are now at current lows, and none of the supposed benefits have appeared? Drives me crazy.

      • Mike

        I don’t want to confuse the discussion with facts, but government revenue in the US has been approximately flat for the past thirty years at about 32% of GDP.  Various rates may have been jiggered, but overall taxes haven’t been cut.

        • TomK in Boston

          That’s good voodoo econ talk, Mike. You have got it down. Lower rates don’t decrease revenues, right? 

          Federal tax revs are at a post-WW2 low

          http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/29136/slide_29136_290494_large.jpg

          No doubt you have some “facts” showing that other taxes have risen to compensate.
          While you’re looking for material to spin, why not see how the effective tax rate of the elite and the corporations have changed over time?

          It’s time that citizens woke up: the purpose of tax cuts is to make the rich richer. All the talk about how wonderful it is for the rest of us is smoke and spin. The super rich want to be super richer, and they, their bought legislators, and their innocent dupes eg some on this board, will say anything that makes it palatable to the voters.

          • Mike

            I guess dismissing things you don’t agree with as “voodoo economics” propounded by “innocent dupes” is easier than actually listening. 

            The top tax rates dropped from 90% in 1960 to 30% in 1990, with essentially no change in tax revenues (as a % of GDP.)  So to answer your question, yes, lower rates don’t decrease revenues.  This same dynamic has also been seen many times in other countries.

            I think that the current calls for higher tax rates are based primarily on the economic pressures people are feeling during this extended recession (the same recession that is main reason why tax revenues have dropped recently.)  They’re certainly not based on economics.

          • Will H

            Right… tax burden has been shift to the middle class.  Get it?

    • Mike

      Over the past thirty years, direct government expenditures in the US have increased from about 32% of GDP to over 40%.  It’s hard to credibly describe this as a “libertarian model”.

      http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1903_2010USp_13s1li011lcn_F0t_US_Government_Spending_As_Percent_Of_GDP

  • Anonymous

    One thing I really love is the Republican pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes. They put the nation at peril this past August playing chicken with a default and created a hickup in our economic recovery.
     
    My whining aside, they speak of their position to never vote for tax increases and in the same statement say that they want to renovate the tax code and realize revenue increases…. what? Wait a minute!!! – they are sworn to never raise taxes but want to revamp our tax code to increase revenue?

    Excuse me, but by what magic will new tax revenue appear without it coming out of some person’s pockets or corporatation’s coffers? That magic faerie pixie dust that they call growth delivered by ‘job creators’ won’t do it. Many job creators have stated quite strongly that personal tax policies don’t affect their decisions to hire or invest. They will do so based upon demand for their business. Also, their is this myth that we can accelerate growth: with out some game changing innovation like the invention of cultivation, or the railroad, growth averaged out over decades is steady; we’re now paying for a decade of inflated growth, which was not growth in the middle class. All of the growth incentives that we have had in place since the Bush administration have, in part, helped incentivize corporations to create 4 out of 5 new jobs overseas which is one reason for our anemic recovery. With today’s corporate business model we they have to create 5 times as many jobs to offset losses in US jobs during the crash. Given that growth won’t grow tax revenue sufficiently, their definition of tax reform must be either an increase in taxes or an utter physical disaster.

    Looks to me like the GOP is still trying to cast their magic veil of ignorance over the voters hoping to dazzle them with their Devil’s arithmetic and blind them with rage over our collective failure, pointing their finger at everyone but themselves when they in fact drove the US Economic Bus into the ditch. Yeah, let’s put another drunk bus driver behind the wheel when we finally get the BUS back on the road. That’s not exactly a shining example of wisdom.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I rather worry with my Payroll Tax this March than Romney’s
    wealth. Romney is nothing compared to other Really rich people out there.

  • TomK in Boston

    Geez Louise, is light finally dawning on MarbleHead? Our ultra low taxes at the top are the #1 reason for the decline of the middle class and the increase in inequality. A wealth tax wd be good, higher rates wd be good, cap gains as ordinary income we be good. They wd all circulate $ through the economy instead of letting them stagnate on the cayman I. 

    I’m sick of hearing abt “reform” and “simplification”. We need HIGHER RATES. All the trickle down voodoo is nothing but smoke to disguise the only result of tax cuts, namely, making the rich richer.The latest smoke is how inequality is seen in pre-tax income, so how could it be caused by tax rates? This is one of the most stupid ever. Did you ever hear “it takes money to make money”? More after tax $ this year means more to put in the financial casino, and more pre-tax $ next year and ever after.Show me a country with a thriving middle class and high economic mobility, and I’ll show you high tax rates at the top. Oh yeah, that was us in the 50s and 60s. 

    • William

      The EU has higher taxes but they are worse off than us. The trickle up economics does not work.

  • Modavations

    There is no revenue problem.To quote Herr Carville “it’s the spending stupid”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Wealthiest people in the world are from Qatar and they don’t even pay taxes.

      • Modavations

        Hong Kong is the richest city in the world.They have no income tax.Even the bums are well coiffed

        • David

          I guess you missed the CNN article that shows people in Hong Kong living in cages, (real, not an exaggeration) because they are so poor they can’t afford anything else.

          • Modavations

            I guess you missed the show about American Blacks in your heinous ghettos.Isaw the clip and in the many times I’ve been to Hong Kong have seen nothing but affluence.I suspect the article was a hit piece

          • David

            I’ve been there too and I saw plenty of pure out and out squaler. 

            You are a liar if you say you saw nothing but affluence. Or you never left your hotel room.

          • Modavations

            Liar,liar.I go to the Hong Kong Jewelry show every 3rd year.I stay at the Harbouview,or do a couch crash with mates at Stanley Beach.H.Kong is gorgeous,a cross between S.Fran and NYC.I do get a laugh at how the high rise guys,throw their trash out the windows.Don’t call me a liar.

          • Modavations

            I wasn’t calling you a liar,that was reaction to you calling me one.As in liar,who you calling a liar son

          • ulTRAX

            Truth is… Moda you either are a liar or braindead. In the democracy forum you posted all the same lies about the Reagan admin you posted back in Nov… and I PROVED using government sources… were all untrue.

            Yet you posted them AGAIN.

            So if you’re not a liar… the only other explanations are you’re stupid or braindead.

            I think you’re all three.

            BTW…. All those posts were nuked. Interesting.
             

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Only Qatar that rich people give away Rolex watches my father has 3 of them from a rich Qatar man.

          • Modavations

            sweet.

        • Anonymous

          This statement is factually incorrect.

          • Modavations

            And your last time there was?

          • Anonymous

            Must I go to the moon to know it exists?

          • Modavations

            Yes and if you’re a good boy,you can come along some time.I’m usually gone only a week

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for the invitation, but I think I’ll keep my feet on the ground.

          • Modavations

            15% income,15% corporate,no sales,no vat,no estate,no withholdinfg,no tax on company monies accumulated.Don’t nit pick me if that’s not exact.It’s off the top of my head,

          • Anonymous

            Now I’ll help you understand simple first grade level arithmetic.  15% income tax is 15% more than no income tax.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You don’t have a B.C. education?  Moda does!  I’m not sure that is the explaination, as he has listed several other factors!

          • Modavations

            My friend to us in the real world that’s no taxes

        • bellavida

          You absolutely just crack me up.  are you serious?

      • Howsyerhole

        Qatar has no income tax, free health care, free education, free electricity, free water services, government pension checks, government low-cost loans, and free funeral services!

    • Anonymous

      Even Romney attack ads have more accurate quotes.

    • Ray in VT

      But there is a revenue problem.  Federal tax collection is at an 80 year low, as a percentage of the economy.  Spending is a problem, but so is this “we must always cut taxes” philosophy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        because of the 15 million unemployed.

      • Mike

        I believe you have your facts wrong.  Federal revenue increased dramatically during WWII from less than 10% of GDP to nearly 24%.  Following the war, it has bounced around between 15 and 20% of GDP, and is currently nearer the top end of that range.

        http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/revenue_history

      • Modavations

        It’s the spending

        • Ray in VT

          Nope.  It’s both.

      • John Baltic

        Be careful here, guys.  GDP and “The Economy” are not the same thing.  GDP is domestic revenue minus costs for labor, raw materials, and imports.  It essentially measures profit but does not describe distribution of purchasing power.  That is why GDP per capita is a poor indicator of how most people are doing. The median income adjusted for inflation is a better indicator of the overall health of the nation’s economy.  All the compensation received by “workers” – from housekeeping to the CEO – counts against the GDP until those individuals actually buy something with their money that was made in The United States.  Or pay a US company to perform a service.

        The figures are not perfect – the “basket of goods” used to calculate purchasing power (adjusted for inflation) sometimes omits fuel costs and food costs because they are so volatile. But ordinary consumers and businesses that use fuel and food can’t omit these costs from their budgets.
        Our government is not immune to these price increases either.  Fuel prices significantly increased the cost of our decade long military involvements.  Rising health care costs have similarly expanded our obligations under existing contracts with government workers, raised the fees we pay to government contractors, and increased spending for medicare and medicaid.Many factors influence the purchasing power of most people.  That said, The median income, adjusted for inflation, held roughly even during Ford and Carter, made real gains during Reagan, Lost considerable ground during George H. W. Bush, Made real gains during Clinton (just slightly better than during Reagan), and lost considerable ground during George W. Bush’s two terms in office.I know you are focusing on a narrower aspect of public policy in this thread.  Still, what much of this broader discussion seems to lack is any recognition of our shared, interconnected environment, the prerequisite of natural resources for the creation of economic wealth, and the value, to the commonwealth, of sustainable practices.  This is why I advocate for a tax on consumption.All The Best,John

  • Modavations

    GAO says we blow 200 billion on duplicative programs per annum.The outgoing Dr.Berman said the fraud and waste in Medicare is up to 130billion per year(that was on this show).Every govt.agency is riddled with fraud and waste.Let’s tighten that up before we raise taxes and send the economy into more peril

    • Terry Tree Tree

      And the waste, fraud, abuse, and duplications that the Republicans have eliminated in their pet programs?

      • Modavations

        Terry,we can point fingers for ever.Turn around and face the future.Let’s dig ourselves out of this

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          Modavations, I applaud you.  You get response.  All my hairs are in the drain. I’m not worthy.

          • Modavations

            Watch Ellen Tibble and NAFeminista ,they know how to write.Your brevity was a delight

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          Modavations, I know you don’t like to read, but there is a purpose why I’m here.  It’s to develop a research proposal.  Your inspiration helped me write a section.  I would like your advice.

          The Pubic Blog and Wiki Warlords

          Blogs serve a great purpose with informal dialogue. Radio programs such as WBUR’s On Point has a very active blog for each hour program. Though the conversations are typically polarizing, participation can become addicting. Mixed into the mindless chatter are many intellectual comments. The problem with a blog is the inability to channel thought in a productive manner. A blog does not direct the flow of suggestion to solution. When large volume of activity occurs, serious inquiry and suggestion are quickly funnelled to obscurity.

          An analogy of a blog is taking a shower in a public bathroom. It’s like watching that lone hair swirl until it adds to the other debris clogging the drain. It’s hard to pick out value in the collection of a public mess.

          Wikipedia is a very productive system for developing factual based content. As Ward Cunningham describe it, blogs encourage divergence, perhaps to the point of dysfunction. Wikis encourage convergence, else edit wars produce dysfunction. Wikipedia fails at being a platform for developing ideas or opinion. As Ward describes, edit wars restrict the development of ideas. Wikipedia succeeds on historical or fact based concepts where consensus is the norm.

          Solutions evolve from opinion. Most problems have hundreds of answers. For a democratic method of problem solving to work, an individual most have control of his or her thought. A new media should promote civic engagement in helping individuals develop community solutions.

          • Yar

            “Solutions evolve from opinion. Most problems have hundreds of answers. For a democrat method of problem solving”is the word democratic?
            When the conversation stops then violence usually follows.  On Point provides an important role in civil discourse.  
            The part that frustrates me is the increasing polarization.  I like the different points of view, is dislike the personal attacks.  Self interest cannot be cleaved from or to selfish interest without a wide range of input.
            Thanks for your input and civility. 

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            I agree there is much good in On Points blog.  I don’t want it to disappear.  I wish other media program offered this level of public feedback.

            What my research proposal is suggesting is a new platform encouraging civil refinement of opinion.  I envision a new technology would have a public forum similar to this one, though there should be an alternative door where individuals could acquire feedback to develop a quality thought worthy of higher demographics. Such a place would encourage  Do Overs of thought to reach broader understanding.

            Yar thank you for pointing out the  misspelling.  I’ve enjoyed reading your post today. I like the way you think.

          • Modavations

            I’m not the one to talk to.I don’t know what a Blog is.I still find the F1,F2,F3 KEYS A MYSTERY.iF YOU WANT TO WRITE,THEN READ,READ,read.Try Steinbeck,Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan(Hippy kid from S.F.He wrote Confederate General in Big Sur).

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            This forum you and I are participating in is a blog.

            I’m not a writer.  I’m a software engineer with an idea.  I’m attempting to describe this idea in the form of a research proposal.  The essay called “What is the Do Good Gauge?” on my website is the research proposal.  It’s a work in process.  The purpose of the proposal is to describe a new media to help express a public opinion.  Modavations, you are part of the public.  This research proposal is as much for you as it is for anyone else. 

            I don’t expect you to read the proposal in its entirety.  I fed you one small section.  It’s not about being a Steinbeck, Voltaire, though maybe something like Benjamin Franklin. 

            Modavation, please read the “Pubic Blogs and Wiki Warload?” section.  Does the thought make any sense?   If not why.

          • Modavations

            Absolutely I will.Please read Steinbeck,Vonnegut,Brautigan.They make words sing!!!

          • nj

            Pubic blogs. Now we’re talkin’!

            Comment sections under articles or for radio broadcasts aren’t really blogs.

            Blogs are written by one individual or a group of people that have control over what goes into them. Blogs can also have comment sections for readers.

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            According to Wikipedia’s definition you are technical correct.

            Though the role of the reader in what I describe remains the same.

            A new media must propagate civil ideas. It must encourage revision. 
            It must allow readers to provide association to build the idea. It could provide tools for each reader to independently red-line errors.

            I’m suggestion public participation in developing a quality thought. Though like a blog there is a single owner or a pre-defined community of owners. Such a tool would prevent the funneling effect from obscuring ideas. It would steer interested parties to collaborate in the refinement of thought.

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            There is a valuable lesson in the scoring mechanism of this existing forum to be utilized in a solution based media.

            When the counter points continually score higher than the solution being presented, it’s time to give up, take some time off, regroup, and work in solitude for a better argument.

            I would like to thank the On Point Community for this opportunity the last couple of days.  I’ll see you in a couple of months.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks for dropping by!  It’s been interesting!  Good luck with your social engineering blog.  Let us know how it turns out?

          • Modavations

            sweet

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The Republicans claim the ‘moral highground’, and are ‘conservative’, ‘compassionate’, and largely claim to be ‘Christian’.
             Doesn’t fighting waste, fraud and abuse come under ANY of those self-claimed titles?

        • bellavida

          you have a point there.  

  • Modavations

    This year alone we are spending 457billion in interest on our debt.You can raise my taxes,if you’ll p[ay off the debt.As soon as it’s paid down(3% isn cool,not the 10% we’re at today),drop the rates.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      What were we paying in interest, on debt, when ‘W’ campaigned that he would make the Budget Surplus BIGGER?

      • Modavations

        I appologize for W,but remind you it wasn’t till 2005 before the worm started to turn.Bush had unemployment at 4.5% and with all the people working under the table,it was 2%.I understand you’re animous to Bush and I partially agree

  • Modavations

    The only thing the govt.should do is defend the borders and act as referee.Leave the welfare to the church

    • Ray in VT

      I could not disagree more.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Churches do such a good job administering welfare?

    • AC

      the church (& other charities) made public appeals since donations were at an all time low. the poor can only help the poor so much…
      & my mother-in-law’s church gives to starving children in Africa. 
      if this were the middle ages, your statement would have more weight & the church would have more power to burn all the pesky witches running around….

      • Modavations

        People donate less to charity because they think the govt.is doing it.Get them out of the game and donations soar.Kerry etc, gave $500(the year he ran for President)to charity.I give that per annum to panhandlers.Rep.give to charity massively compared to Dems.

        • AC

          how do you know this? i remember back in college (~2005) i had an anthropology elective and somebody had done a study on who ‘gave’ the most. the results showed than young women gave the least (shocked me at the time!!) while older, white men who were ex-veterans gave the most. I think the professor mentioned this was a ‘there but for the grace of god go I’ complex…or something…anyway, political leanings did not even factor in, more gender & age

          • Modavations

            Oh yes they do.Kerry ,with a fortune of 1 billion,gave 500 to charity the year he ran for president

          • Anonymous

            Don’t blame him; Teresa probably doesn’t let him near the check book. 

          • AC

            only $500? I’ve given more than that since Nov and I don’t have anywhere near a billion…..do you mean 500k? also, only the year he ran? what about now?

          • Modavations

            No no dear $500.00.That was the only year he showed his returns

          • Modavations

            The author was Prof.Brooks.He writes for all the papers.He says Rep.give 30% more then Dems.He says Rep.give more blood to boot.Dems.think they’re charitable when they take my money and give it away.Gore was a notorious miser.

          • Anonymous

            Republicans are more likely to belong to a church and the money they give to them counts in that figure when most of that money goes to support the church rather than do charitable works. 

          • Modavations

            Well,that’s the jist of the professors book.Dem. charity is taking my money and giving to their constituents.I call it vote buying and that’s preciselty why you won’t afford your chattel the School Voucher

          • Anonymous

            How does subsidizing private schools fit with your libertarian values?

        • AC

          also, i should note, it was solely based on ‘monetary’ giving, volunteering & time etc are separate categories….

      • Kill_yr_television

        Not every contribution to a worthy non-partisan cause is considered charitable For example your contribution to your local public radio broadcaster is not counted when charity is spoken of, while your contribution to very politically active religious organizations like the Catholic Church IS considered to be charitable. We need to re-define charity. 

        • AC

          interesting point…

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ‘Charitable donations’ to the Catholic church STILL going to hide, protect, and otherwise CONDONE Child-Molesting and Child-Abusing priests?

    • Anonymous

      That is an amazingly true statement.

      • Anonymous

        You’re very easily amazed.

        • Modavations

          You empty the magazine,throw the gun at him,then start the name calling.

          • Anonymous

            Hey, Dumbo!!! What name did I call him?

    • Anonymous

      Roads? Bridges? Air traffic safety? Law enforcement? Safe food supply? Safety of new drugs? VOUCHERS? Civil Law cases? Disaster relief? Water supply? Unemployment benefits, of which I’m sure at least some of the government bashers partake? National Parks, which I’m sure a few conservative Republicans must visit?

      • Modavations

        Privatise

        • Anonymous

          Privatize civil law? Privatize Public water supplies? Privatize law enforcement? Privatize the Interstate Highway System? Privatize the FDA???????????

          • Mike

            Sure, why not?  We have a privatized system of civil law (arbitration), and it works quite well.   As for FDA, it does at least as much harm as good, and should be abolished, not privatized.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            97% of ‘arbitration’ finds in favor of the company, or corporation.
               I have witnessed this corruption, first hand! 
               The company ADMITTED the vehicle had the problems, that the company could NOT fix them, and that the problems were a serious SAFETY risk, to the buyer, and maybe to others on the road, when the failures occurred, and the ‘arbitrator’ told the buyer they HAD to keep the vehicle, and keep making payments!
               The ‘arbi-TRAITOR’ was on a first-name basis with the company men, and traded stories about family.  The comopany PICKED the ‘arbi-TRAITOR’!   The VICTIMS never had a chance!

          • Anonymous

            While the FDA has a lot to answer for, your contention that they have done as much harm as good is laughable. But it’s nice to see that you advocate a Laissez-Faire approach to pharmaceutical R+D? The drug company makes it, you take it and it kills you. Oh, well. Maybe your survivors will win some big money in arbitration.  Now ,please explain privatized law enforcement, water supplies, and a few million miles of highways and bridges.

          • TFRX

            Yep. Like Chile’s public pensions, or Bolivia’s water.

            Oh, wait.

        • bellavida

          Nobody “likes” to pay taxes.  But as I think back to being an 8yr old….when I went to visit the country I was born in, and on my return trip, the plane touched down on US soil….and we got in the car to drive on interstate, with streetlights, knowing that when I got home there would be clean running water to brush my teeth….I see the value of government.  Like Winston democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried.  I say corporations like Walmart, GE, need to pay their fair share. They are using the roads and the infrastructure to get their products to market.  

      • Anonymous

        The US Constitution specifically states what responsibilities the Federal government has and many on your list are not on it.  This doesn’t mean that they are not worthy causes, but they are causes that States and local government has responsibility for.  

        Our country was founded on the idea that Government closes to the people is most accountable to the people and I think over the last 10 years our federal government has proven that to be 100%  true!

        • Anonymous

          Everything you wrote in the above post is eminently clear to me. I could have written it myself and meant every word. Unfortunately, our friend above said nothing about FEDERAL government. Perhaps this is quibbling with details, but I don’t think that’s what he meant.

          • Modavations

            The modus operendi of the left is keeping the poor,poor and the quibble.

          • Anonymous

            While even I will admit that you may, on very rare occasions, post an original comment that is somewhat coherent and perhaps even somewhat valid, have you ever noticed that you’re modus operendi in replying to opposing views is almost invariably, 1) avoid the issue, 2) say something along the lines of “bad,bad liberals, perpetrators of all things evil in the world,” and 3) rattle off a string of disjointed, addle brained piffle having nothing to with anything? Time for a new schtick, comrade.

          • Modavations

            Son I’m engaging you with half my brain tied behind my back.

          • Anonymous

            No Doubt.

          • ulTRAX

            So you’re working with only 1/4 capacity of others? THAT’S what explains your idiocy!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            B.C. education?

  • Modavations

    Bush tax cuts went 33% to the poorest of the poor(15% down to 11% and with EIC 11% pay no tax at all).The rich got 6% of the cut(39% to 35%).The middle class got the rest.I went 31% to 28%.If you rescind the rich’s cut it yields a paltry 70Bill.per annum.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      $70 BILLION a year is ‘paltry’?  To a guy that said he bought 1 Million 100 Watt light bulbs recently, I guess it is! 
         If that is so ‘paltry’ to you rich, why don’t you quadruple it?  Wouldn’t that be ‘paltry’ too?

      • William

        Sure it’s paltry…Medicare loses 60 billion a year to fraud and theft per CBS 60 minutes…no big deal for the government to give up that in theft so why should we care what the private sector keeps.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          How many ‘conservatives’ have exposed, and help prosecute fraud, theft, abuse, and other crimes, committed by their financial supporters?  How many have helped hide them, and protect them.

    • Anonymous

      You should also note that for at least the next three years after the tax cuts went into effect, Federal tax revenues increased every year!  So did the tax cut really cost us anything?  Or did the extra money in the economy help stimulate it, causing the increase in Tax revenue?

  • Modavations

    Cut everything across the board 5% per annum until unemployment reaches 5%.If not,I say let the “sequester”roll.

  • Anonymous

    No Pay raises for any federal employees until we have a balanced budget would be nice!

  • Anonymous

    Why has Obama never passed a federal budget since entering office?  I don’t think this has ever happened before!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      probably there is no budget.

    • guest

      That is the House’s job: Congress is the authority of budgets. Not the president. Duh, please learn your “government 101.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I am more concern of Newt than Romney’s legal wealth.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      I hate topics about tax. see you.

  • Frankd

    on what amount did mr romney actually PAY tax on ?

    say to date, mr romeny has increased his personal wealth over his lifetime of earnings and investments to $200 million – okay

    BUT has he actually PAID 15% on this $200 million OR is the tax largely DEFERRED as the funds value sit in his retirement plan(s) ?

    could it be that an entire HALF, or MORE, of this $200 million value has yet to be actually taxed, and will be taxed, or taxable, sometime in the future at 15% ?

    and what if mr romney, like george steinbrenner did upon his death, can transfer his entire estate TAX FREE to heirs sometime in the future, and NEVER pay tax on those funds, whose value may again and again multiply ?

    too bad i had to actually LIVE off my earnings and investment increases net of losses, and stay ahead of my bills, or i would have deferred my tax obligations as well

    frankD
    ft lauderdale FLA

  • burned

    My wife and I [working class]left Long Island,among other reasons, was the tax explosion,and just before we left I read an article of a [very well paid]baseball player paying less than half of what I pay of the property tax on a multi million penthouse in Manhattan, and at the same time Albany is screaming it’s broke. Do the math.  

  • Logan

     
    It is “theoretically possible” to lower tax rates and increase revenues. Some people believe that by lowering the rates on businesses and the wealthy that you can stimulate growth of GDP. If the pie is bigger, the total tax revenue can increase if the relative growth rate increase is higher than the tax rate decrease.

    The technical term for it is “maximizing the Laffer curve”. This is also known as “vodoo economics” or “tickle down theory” or “Reaganomics” and is based on a rediculously over-simplified Laffer theory of economics and taxation.

    This is a theory that completely ignores realistic human behavior. If rich people get more money, they tend to buy more toys or re-invest it in jobless growth schemes. They have no obligation to use it to better the lives of the poor. Ergo, the efficiency of “social good” that is done by reducing the tax burden on the rich is worse than the efficiency of the pentagon budget for toilets.

    • Anonymous

      Please give me an example of what your refer to as a ”
      re-invest it in jobless growth schemes?”

      • Logan

        Credit Default Swaps
        Comodities Trading
        Currency Markets
        Overseas Investment
        Industrial Consolidation to reduce competition (aka monopolies)
        Stock Market Speculation
        Patent Trolling
        etc
        etc
        etc

        There are too many forms of legalized gambling to list here.  But they difference between this and Las Vegas is merely the degree of money, lawyering, and regulation involved.

        • Modavations

          You’ve never been involved in a good Crap Game,I can see

  • Kerrysc

    Doesn’t this point to the more basic need as a society to begin to re-explore the nature of wealth and commonwealth in a democracy?

  • Anonymous

    America’s loss is China’s gain. 
    In the aftermath of the Keystone XL fiasco, which will see not only a number of jobs “uncreated” but a natural source of crude lost, Canada is already planning next steps. Which will benefit Shanghai directly and immediately. As Bloomberg reports, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.” The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.” Ironically, it is diversifying away from the US, with its ever soaring, politically-predicated uncertainty, that is a source of stability and diversification. But it is not only crude. Wonder why no jobs are being created? Wonder why despite record low mortgage rates there is no bottom in sight for housing? Simple – nobody can plan one month, let alone one year ahead for any US-based venture or business. The political risk is simply too great – whether it is contract law (see GM and Chrysler) or simple solvency (see record high levels of cash hoarded by companies), it is there, and as long as it is there, there will be no hiring, no capex spending, no growth, and no real improvement in the economy, the real economy, not that defined by where the Russell 2000 closes on any given day. Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/19/2012

  • notafeminista

    To Ray in VT below:  Thanks for the kind thoughts, but why can’t more people achieve that particular goal?  And why when someone says they did, there are 12 people lined up to tell them why it isn’t possible?

  • Fredlinskip

    It seems not to matter if a company or corp that creates no jobs currently pays zero taxes, or if there are overseas tax shelters, or execs that plundered Americas financial system pay  next to nothing, or if the wealthiest sitting on trillions are getting their taxes reduced, , or if our country has become one of “for and by the few”, while the deficit deluges us- No matter what, “no new taxes” is the mantra.
        And we live under such a dysfunctional government, a majority in the Senate no longer means a thing.

    The wealthy are Laughing Out Loud.

  • Anonymous

    Individuals who have accumulated a lot of wealth by taking it from the hard work and properties of others, and the resources of the nation should be required to give back a fair share toward the costs of the government that made it possible for them to do it.   The government is not some alien thing; it is us… all of us.  Anything less than a fair share is stealing, and should be punished.

  • notafeminista

    To Ray in VT below:  But you are knocking him for that.  That is exactly and precisely what you are knocking him for.  Mitt Romney did not choose his parents nor his circumstances anymore than (now) Dr. Quinones did.  The fact that both of them have ended up to be successful, productive members of society is a testament to what humans are able to do despite what they are handed at birth.

    • Ray in VT

      But I’m not really knocking him.  I’m not saying that he is bad for having made a ton of money.  I’m just saying that he got a leg up in life based upon the circumstances of his upbringing.

      • notafeminista

        An accidental circumstance.  He didn’t ask for it, it wasn’t like he was in the womb planning all of this.  All of us, everyone of us have an opportunity to whatever we want with what we are given.  That’s why Dr. Quinones’ story is a perfect foil to Mr. Romney’s.  How easy it would have been for (then) Mr. Quinones to just give up because he didn’t have Mr. Romney’s so called leg up, and he did not.  Equal opportunity.  Not equality of results.  But the Left has made a career out of excusing bad behavior and then demanding equality of results regardless.

  • Howsyerhole

    A wealth tax will never happen, the corporation-loving Republicans will say no way and the ultra-rich democrats (like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s with a personal wealth of wealth of $35.2M) will say “live as I say, not as I live”.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Why did you leave out John Boehner and Mitch McConnel?

  • Chefjamescia

    A wealth tax is preposterous.  If I have ten dollars, and you have 1, why am I then responsible for you?  A caller said that Mitt Romney was “taking advantage of opportunities that the average american will never have.” Wouldn’t she?  If I handed her 1M dollars right now, and told her that she can do LEGAL things with that money in order to avoid higher taxes…are we really to believe that she would deny herself the opportunity? 

    • http://www.killyourtaxes.com/ OnePercent

      Not everyone would take advantage of tax breaks. As of this year, I’m in the top 1%. But I have spent my life avoiding loopholes and essentially trying to pay as much tax as the law will allow, erring on the side of giving more rather than less. With a good income, I am able to do this. It makes me sick that most wealthy Americans waste billions of hours trying to find the best (legal or illegal) way to pay the least tax.

      • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

        I equally find it silly that people role up a large mortgage to catch a tax break.  Do the math, they are spending 1 dollar to the bank to save less than 30 cents of tax money. 

        People speech of patriotism.  The fight to keep from paying ones responsibility in a civil society is more treasonous in my mind.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thank you, if you are on the level about this! 
            It’s nice to even THINK that there are some wealthy people that are not consumed by GREED!

  • Anonymous

    Two questions for the “tax on wealth” crowd.  FIRST: There are many people in the United States whose primary asset is their house. Many of them are just getting by, with state and local property taxes, insurance and maintenance on the property consuming significant portions of their incomes. A lot of those would fall into the “tax on wealth:” trap because their total “wealth” is greater than some threshold established in the name of “the 99%”. These ersatz wealthy could be forced to sell their homes at “fire sale” prices because of the greed of the latter group. (To whom they could sell their homes is a different question. Wealthy non-Americans perhaps?)  SECOND: Oprah is a wealthy person. What would the 99%ers have the government do with her $20 million Beverly Hills house after seizing it in the name of the masses? Maybe move 99 people into it and watch them squabble who gets to live 4-to-a-room instead of 5-to-a-room?

    • Kill_yr_television

      You must have been away from your radio when the “exempt the first $5M in assets” part was discussed

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Got any REAL questions, with REAL parameters, instead of mis-leading assumptions?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      Do you have a multi-million dollar home and feel that you are pressed to the wall and just squeeking by? Eeking out a meager crust here, there, anywhere, you creep along the edges of the woodwork of society wishing you could hold your head up. I am so sorry for you. Do you feel someone is going to seize you 72 inch telly for your failure to pay into the society that provides the land you live on, the road you get to it by and the police who, if they are not looting you, are protecting your property so they can loot you later? Too bad. You’ll miss Oprah on, what! You have cable … no, no, no, its FIOS! Well, you’re no cheap rotter. Look at you as you squeek by!

  • Anonymous

    Why shouldn’t all income be taxed the same?

    • Modavations

      Just Goggle Cap Gains Tax.It’s obvious.I can’t believe you don’t know the rational.

      • Anonymous

        Do your capital gains tax goggles explain your warped economic world view?

        • Modavations

          No,for that look up world traveler,adventurer.Read Orwell,we’re soul mates

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            Cool.  I’m in the process of reading George Orwell: As I Please, 1943-1945 (The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 3)

            I think the perspective of his time are similar to the challenges we face today.  We call it liberal and conservative.  He called it Communism and Capitalism.  What is so interesting is that his thought process was not muddied by years of propagandistic rhetoric.  He was able to look at the social economic ramifications with a clear view and come to an intelligent understanding.  He feared nobody and said it like noone else dared.

            I don’t see much of that today.  Though I did enjoy reading Senator Paul Simons Autobiography and Adlai Stevenson III Black book within the last couple of weeks.

          • Modavations

            This is it for me today,but I leave you with one of my favorite Orwellisms.

            England is the only great country whose Intelligentsia are ashamed of their own nationality.They get their cuisine from Paris and their politics from Moscow.

            Substitute Intelligentsia with Liberals and you get my world view

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            The interesting thing about Orwell is that he walked a while with the Communist before he saw the implementation was far more imperialistic than the opposite side.  

            You can substitute intelligentsia with liberals if you wish, though to think Orwell was the polar opposite of a liberal is a stretch.   I’ll continue to read. I doubt I will come to the conclusion he would side with today’s Libertarians.

            I don’t want to agitate you by openly revealing my political ideology, though will say Stephen Pratt allowed his essay called The Illusion of Opposites to be posted on my site. I truly liked his illustrations that ideology is more complex than a linear line.   His essay does reveal a strong advocacy to libertarianism to which I do not adhere.  But I do admire his ability to express a well thought out argument and that is why I’m grateful he allowed me to publish his thoughts.

      • bellavida

        I think you meant “rationale”

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Because the GREEDY rich want to move money to make money, while the working-class risks their lives and health to to to work, to produce goods or services, taking whatever risks involved in the work, then risk their lives and health to go home!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        Do you risk your life, your health? Or is your job just a risk of your time? Do you actually do a good job? Are you really hard-working? Are you sure you’re not just a tiny wee bit greedy? Do you have a point?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I have risked each of those, to help save lives.  Does helping save lives mean I do a good job?
              I define GREED as accumulating money or power, for the sake of having more, regardless of who you hurt, or what damage it causes.   NO, I’m NOT GREEDY!  I think too much of people and the environment!
             If I didn’t think I have a point, I would quietly read the comments of others.   Do you think I have a point?

  • Markus

    Never did get an answer to my question and I think it’s at the core of this issue.

    How much do you increases taxes on what income groups to take X amount out of the deficit? E.g. if you increase taxes by 10% on people making more than 500K, how much is that?

    My guess is that you have to increase taxes on the majority of people to make any significant dent. But I think these numbers, which I never hear from these alleged experts, are more important than all these cute phrases like “the rich should pay their fair share”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dreslough Clay Dreslough
    • http://www.facebook.com/dreslough Clay Dreslough

      Markus said “My guess is that you have to increase taxes on the majority of people to make any significant dent”.

      Actually, you don’t. President Clinton ran a *surplus* and the most salient difference between his tax policies and those of the last 12 years are the tax cuts for the wealthy put in place by GWB. For example, by just closing loopholes used primarily by the wealthy, and taxing capital gains above $250K as income, you can raise another $700B:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OneTax

      Enough to turn a large deficit into a large surplus, without raising taxes for 95%+ of Americans.

      • Still Here

        gotcha so we need 1992 spending levels and an internet bubble

  • Anonymous

    Media Myth Debunked: 97 Percent of Americans Pay Less Tax Than Romney’s 15 PercentRead more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/01/19/media-myth-debunked-97-percent-americans-pay-less-romneys-15-percent#ixzz1jwVbKhjW

    • Dpweber83

      Do you not know the definition of “marginal rate,” or do you just assume we don’t?

      • TFRX

        Anyone linking to News(sic) Busters(sic) must have a very low opinion of their audience.

      • Br

        I assume you don’t!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      Cheap shot. Your spam doesn’t debunk media. You try but fail to debunk the IRS, economist, MBO, etc. You’d like to debunk the truth that doesn’t suit you. Good luck with that.

    • Zero

      Pays less taxes or pays a lower tax percentage.  But I can tell you right now, a bigger percentage of my income goes to taxes than the percentage of Romney’s income.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Any  defenders of the wealth tax here who are religious?

    The wealth tax seems to violate two of the ten commandments.

    “You shall not steal”

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your
    neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox,
    nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
    I guess you could modify the  commandment:

    “You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s UNLESS they have more than you AND the government does it”

    Sounds  a little Orwellian.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Obviously there are NO $MILLIONAIRES and $BILLIONAIRES, that oppose the wealth tax, that are truely religious! 
         They STOLE the Tax Cuts, with promises of JOBS!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Obviously there are NO $MILLIONAIRES and $BILLIONAIRES, that oppose the wealth tax, that are truely religious! 
         They STOLE the Tax Cuts, with promises of JOBS!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        “ttuely”(sp) – truly; oh, and it is impolite to keep shouting. Is it the meds honey? Or are you just drunk?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You’ll have a big time with Modavations’ comments.  He points out that he attended B.C.!
             I emphasize words.   If that is shouting, sometimes shouting is NEEDED. 
             Compare two months of mine, and Modavations’ comments, and tell me which is more impolite?   I doubt you’ll find mine calling anyone a name, much less the ones used by someone with a B.C. education.
            Sorry that I missed that typo!  I try hard to catch them before I submit a post.  MANY are far worse!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

            I don’t think I ever said you were uncivil. Gee, if I did, it would have been a rash act. Yes, I try to catch my typos but am not as successful as in the past. Anyway, bon chance!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks for the clarification.  Welcome to the comment board!  I try to consider each comment, when I can.  My attitude is to keep it civil, as children have access, and I can express myself WITHOUT inappropriate language.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Man, I was hoping for some sort of rewriting of the bible justification.

        Then I would be able to retort with my “pious baloney” line.

        Too bad.

    • ulTRAX

      What’s a good idea worth in a nation without the infrastructure needed to exploit it?
       
       
      The Right loves to claim people make all their money on their own. It’s a compelling fable, but a lie just the same.
       
       
      The public and private sector bootstrap each other to higher levels of prosperity. But the Right is so intent on protecting the rich at the expense of everyone else it willing to destroy this symbiosis… and it’s the Right that will kill the goose that lays the golden egg. 

  • Ray in VT

    It looks like that early morning prediction of 666 comments has been easily surpassed.

    • Modavations

      Not bad,pick a few stocks for me Raymond

      • Ray in VT

        Well, I certainly wouldn’t pick Kodak.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Good job.
      The devil’s in the details.

      Ar, ar.

      Herman Cain wanted you to predict 999.  Who knows! The rebroadcast is still pending.

      • Ray in VT

        Is that you, Mr. Crabs?  I thought that someone would make some sort of devil reference earlier.  Well played with the Cain liner.

  • Michael

    The wealthy were taxed on the earnings and now you want to tax them for not spending it.  Then someone will want to tax them for spending it. 
    What is wrong with being rewarded for working a bit harder, being a bit luckier, or a bit smarter to make and keep more money.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many ‘conservatives’ have exposed and prosecuted that waste, fraud and abuse, from their ‘contributors’? 
         They claim the ‘moral highground’, as ‘compassionate’, ‘Christian’, ‘conservatives’!
         WHY aren’t they being ‘conservative’ by exposing and prosecuting these crimes?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      What CEO, that bankrupts a company, WORKS harder than the workers making the product or delivering the services, by the percentage of PAY , BENEFITS, and BONE-USes they get?
          Can you PROVE that Rick Waggoner worked 28 THOUSAND times harder than GM’s assembly line workers?

  • Michael from Florida

    Another commet.  You speak of trynany of the masses.  We are not Entitled to anyone elses money or wealth.  This is America.  As we saw in Soviet Union, we need motivation to get up, work hard, try, ect.  Fair share, tax, how about everybody pays as flat fee per person????

  • Jjpeppercat

    The show didn’t hammer home the difference between *productive* assets — financial instruments that create jobs, etc — and *unproductive* assets, things that once purchased, don’t do anything to create opportunities or jobs.

    The idea is, for these mega-million/billion-aires that when they buy that $45 million Manhattan penthouse, (s)he gets a wealth tax on it because it’s money that isn’t being in a way to grow the economy. If you invest your money truly, you get the tax advantages. If it’s for your own aggrandizement or pleasure, well, you can pay some tax on it for the privilege.

  • Andrew from MA

    For years, the country has moved toward a winner-take-all system, where the “1%” has gradually been allowed to take full control of our economy.  They proceeded to run the country down the road toward disaster, which became apparent a few years ago.  Anyone who opposes increases on taxes on the “1%,” or even more significant measures to redistribute wealth, and is not IN the “1%” is blindly following a line of propaganda and not listening to the facts.  Do any of these people understand what tax money is used for?  

  • Wblakesx

    Low taxes on wealth accumulation provides fastest growth but leads to social dissolution. Taxes on unproductive holding drive their prices down. Reagans cuts were said to be to stimulate investment but the wealth holders aren’t investing.

  • Kill_yr_television

    Taxation should encourage behavior that benefits our nation and discourage behavior that is detrimental to our nation. Hoarding of incredibly large quantities of wealth HURTS America. Is a mere 3% (only $3,000 on each million) enough to make up for the harm done by hoarding that million and keeping it out of circulation?

    • Fredlinskip

      While I agree in concept with your post, I believe, 3% of a mil is 30g.

  • jhm mke

    One of the largest parts of the US Budget is  the Defense Department.

    If we think of the Defense Department as a form of Insurance to protect our assets (like Home Owner’s Insurance),

    then this makes perfect sense!  If you have more assets that need protecting then you pay more, no different than paying more on your Home Owner’s Insurance if you have a bigger home or multiple homes.

  • Wblakesx

    The rich get far more benefit from the gov than the poor do. The iudiciary; military; transportation systems etc serve them far more than they serve the average iosephine

  • Andrew in MA

    Q:  Is it a coincidence that the liberal states are the ones with the lowest unemployments rates?

    A:  No.

    • Kurt Johnson

      Q: Is it a fact that liberal states are the ones with the lowest unemployment rates?

      A: No.

      • Ray in VT

        But by and large they are the ones that send more to the Federal Government than they get back.

        • Fredlinskip

          This may be partly because during W years majority of porkbarrel spending went to red states.

      • TFRX

        You want to talk red state tax grab?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Metro Washington DC has the lowest unemployment rate.
      Hmmmmm.

  • May we awaken in time

    Recommendation for guest: David Korten, author of
    Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth.

    Issued as a report of the New Economy Working group, this substantially
    updated and expanded new edition of Agenda for a New Economy is a call
    for a national Declaration of Independence from Wall Street.

    What is
    needed, Korten argues, is a system that favors life values over
    financial values, roots power in people and community, and supports
    local resilience and self-organization within a framework of living
    markets and democracy.

    The new edition is a handbook for a nonviolent
    Main Street revolution – because change, as he explains, will not come
    from above. It will come from below.

  • Still Here

    We need to tax people who are having a good-hair day.  

    Some people work hard to have good hair; whatever, tax them.  

    Some people are born with good hair; how lucky for them, tax them. 

    Like I told Joe the plumber, we need to spread the good hair around.

    • Fredlinskip

      What if you’re bald?

    • Yobo

      A pointless comment.

  • Kurt Johnson

    People who gain their wealth by honest and peaceful means should not have it taken away to give to others who have less.  What is considered immoral for an individual to do is not made moral because it is done by a majority through government.  If it is immoral for an individual to use force to take the property of others, then it is also immoral for government to do the same thing.  The proper role of government is to protect our lives, liberty and property against those who would use force or fraud to take those things from us.

    • Fredlinskip

      I thought the role of govmint was to protect the interests of the wealthy and the rest be damned, this being the contention of supply- side economics.

      I don’t really agree, if this is your contention, that those who make the most $ are wise enough to know what’s in the best interest of our nation as a whole. It’s kind of like asking King George (W or the King of England in colonial times- take your pick) if he’s “in touch” with the needs  of majority of his “subjects”.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        EXCELLENT!

    • Kill_yr_television

      Isn’t that pretty much saying “taxation is theft” but using a lot more words?

  • May we awaken in time

    More on Korten from Amazon.com:

    “In addition to an active schedule of writing and speaking on global
    issues, I serve as president of the People-Centered Development Forum,
    chair the board of YES! Magazine (yesmagazine.org), serve on the board
    of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. (livingeconomies
    .org), and co-chair the New Economy Working Group      (neweconomyworkinggroup.org).”

    “For more information and periodic updates,
    visit my website davidkorten.org. You can also follow me on
    twitter.com/dkorten and facebook.com. The Great Turning has an active
    facebook.com group.”

    Also from David Korten:

    When Corporations Rule the World

    The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

    The Post Corporate World: Life After Capitalism

    Globalizing Civil Society: Reclaiming Our Right to Power

    Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      … spammer, nuff said.

  • Andrew in MA

    So Kurt Johnson, is it moral for a millionaire to stand by and watch a poor family starve?  What about an 80-year-old lady freezing to death in her home because she can’t afford to pay for heating fuel?  Is it morally correct for a millionaire to ignore her plight?  You can put that personal “moral” spin on whatever you want, but in the end it’s a matter of what is the most fair for the most people in a democracy.

    • Kurt Johnson

      It would be immoral for a rich person to watch someone starve or freeze to death.  They should voluntarily help others.  It would be immoral for you to use force to take honestly and peacefully earned property from the rich person to give to the poor or freezing.  You should help them.  I would.  But, neither of us can help every starving or freezing person in the world.  I would rather help them be free from oppressive governments and increase their freedom and property rights.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        Right, no me. Not Andrew. Society does have the right and it is immoral to neglect social obligations. Those are what are the focus of the discussion. Feudalism is rather gone. A few, with considerable resources, want to bring it back. By the way, how is your moat and drawbridge landscaping project going?

        • Fredlinskip

          Well put.

        • notafeminista

          Well now wait a minute Mr. Franklin.  Do you want liberty or security?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many $Millionaires, and $Billionaires HAVE any morals?
         Newt?  Bernie Madoff?  The Congressmen and Senators that have been exposed for trying to molest under-age Pages?  O.J. Simpson?  Mafia Dons?  Drug King-pins?

      • Janet Evans

        All humans are frail.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        Do you actually know any wealthy people? Are you the other half of the Janet troll?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I know a few, you don’t meet too many working construction, Volunteer Fire-Fighting, Volunteer Rescue-Squad working, and donating blood!   Actually, in 24 years of Volunteer Fire-Fighting, I have NEVER known a wealthy person fighting fires, or risking their lives and income, to save other peoples’ lives, or property!

  • Andrew in MA

    Maybe you should run the stats, Kurt.  I’m happy to be proven wrong if you have the facts to back it up.

    • Andrewisanignoranttroll
      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        nice, nice, very nice … and sir how shall you be summarily categorized?

    • Kurt Johnson

      Shouldn’t the person who makes the conjecture be the one to back it up?  Iowa has low unemployment and is a conservative state.  California is liberal and it has high unemployment.  For a list by state see: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

  • Andrew in MA

    As you point out, there are individual states that deviate from the norm.  However, I stand by my position that states that are solidly conservative are not performing as well as states that are solidly liberal. 

    I submit to you that morality is a subjective issue and that your perception of morality does not necessarily match mine.  As I stated previously, democracy is not a “moral” system, nor should it be.  Many of the wealthy did not make millions by upholding a high moral standard by any definition.  If the majority of wealthy individuals were as generous as you, we would not be having this discussion.  

    • Kurt Johnson

      I agree that many of the wealthy did not earn their money through honest and peaceful means.  Many have been the recipients of government cronyism.  There is more corporate welfare than welfare for the poor.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Each Corporate Welfare recipient gets LOTS more than how many Welfare recipients?
            I favor a much more efficient Jobs Placement organization, to match an individual’s skills, training,  abilities, handicaps, and circumstances, with available jobs.  This could eliminate Welfare, by getting jobs for people that want the self-respect of being productive!

  • Squeege in NYC

    As I was listening to this program on the drive home, I was struck by a few seeming errors in understanding. The wealthiest people in America have very little liquid assets. The vast majority of their wealth is invested into companies via stocks or bonds, invested in municipal bonds, or owning treasury bills. This proposal seems to wish to decrease this investment periodically by requiring a selling off of these assets to pay a wealth tax.

    An idea that seems to make much more sense to me is to apply a consumption tax that forces those who spend the most to pay the most. I would encourage a close examination of the ideas at http://www.fairtax.org.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      another spammer.

  • Tim, Arlington, VA

    This  tax proposal  seems as though there is an upper limit on how much money a person can have. If this goes through people will just vote with their feet to somewhere else

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      Please. Move to France.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      MANY of the TRAITORS already have, at least the ‘feet’ of their money!

      • Janet Evans

        Love to see some data.

    • Fredlinskip

      If the wealthy interests have no interest in supporting the nation that has done so much for them- it’s time for them to go-

      And don’t let them back in- ever.

  • Anonymous

    I was listening to the show on the way home and I think it is totally wrong to put a wealth tax on the rich. It is a ridiculous idea. The guest stated it closed loopholes. What loopholes does it close? Not one. If you want to close the loopholes close them specifically. It was also stated that they dont pay tax on rental property. I find that hard to believe. That would be income tax. If they don’t, that to me would be a loophole that needs to be closed. The off shore tax shelters, that is a loophole that needs to be closed. How are the rich paying 15% in taxes? Obvous from deductions or loopholes. Close those. That is fair.

    When you tax the rich with a wealth tax we become no better then why we broke away from Britain. Second, think about it folks. A car, Home, second home, are all wealth and can then be taxed. Do you think they will stop with the rich? I suppose they will honor that promise just as they promise they never would go after marriage and never use the SS number as ID. One day they will then broaden it to go after all wealth.

    More importantly, is why are we here? We are not here because the Rich dont pay enough. We are here because there were no Laws to stop Obama from doing what is he is doing. He is running this country into the ground and supposedly everyone claims this is legal and not treason.

    When we do not uphold the laws/taxes in place, making new laws/taxes is not the answer. The answer is to get ethics back into politics and get impeach this moron. Get his changes repealed and have Obama and the Dems pay this debt back.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      Dude, you think about it. First the premise you state that a wealth tax implies thus and so, is fabricated. According to you, if I have a dollar in my pocket, it’s wealth. Get real. Note: if you and I have a home, a car, ohh and honey, that 2nd home we have, gues what … they are already taxed and we haven’t even moved to the UK yet! What country are you living in?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Your ‘reasons why we are here’, start YEARS after the actual reasons why we are here!
      ‘W’ campaigned on the promise that he would make the Budget Surplus BIGGER!  When he left office, WAS there a BIGGER Budget Surplus?  I remember a HUGE Deficit!  Before TARP, Before the $12 Trillion the Fed ‘loaned’ in secret to Investment Banks!
         If you can’t be honest with yourself, don’t expect us to buy into your delusion!

      • Janet Evans

        We should vote W out, definitely.

    • Fredlinskip

      I agree about the notion that ethics is the problem.

      The ethics of sending jobs and industries overseas, ethics that allow corporate execs to make many 100′s of times those actually producing the product. Ethics, that would allow a GOP president that inherited a surplus, funnel trillions into the hands of those who only imagine they deserve it. Ethics of GOP policy for 30 years + of “borrow and spend”. Ethics that would lead anyone into fooling themselves that given the financial shape our economy was in ’08, it could be turned around in a few years.

      I could go on for some time. But you’re right, the problem is ethics.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

    Where does this language come from? And What does it actually imply? A specific group responds to tax discussions uniformly referring to taxation as “punishment.” “Why punish the wealthy.” “Why punish the frugal.” “Why punish the investor?” “Why punish the job creators (aka wealthy)?”

    So if taxation is punishment, I suppose the imputation is that government and the social weal is … what? Am I punished for having an income? WAm I punished for making a purchase? When I pay for schools and roads I didn’t personally use today am I being punished?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You sure you’re not ‘W’, the mis-direction, and ambling concepts, fit. 
         Hard to say if you continually break up common phrases while speaking, shattering their meaning?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        ambling – walking; mis-direction – misdirection (one word) … If you’d like to learn the skills of editing, get a grip on language, if you can.

  • Janet Evans

    Envy was strong here today.

    • Fredlinskip

      I’m envious of a time when America had a more balanced economy, less unnecessary Wars, and enough common sense to realize that revenue is required to pay down debt.

      • Yobo

        Yes, and common sense enough to understand that wars are really, really, really expensive (especially now, with all that impressive technology).

        And enough common sense to realize that the military and all those companies & corporations that have contracts with the government are all part of the budget of the Department of Defense (formerly more accurately called the War Department), and that the Department of Defense is part of the government.  Common sense enough to realize that funding our troops properly (so that they can win those wars) costs money, which means that the government needs money. It kills me how many people who wouldn’t dream of cutting “defense spending” then talk about how “government” is too big and “government spending” should be slashed.

        • Fredlinskip

          agreed.

          • Fredlinskip

            And since there will always be a terrorist, we are condemned to forever War and trillion dollar military budgets.
            .

    • TFRX

      I’m envious of rich folks being able to sucker all those (by comparison) poor people to take my side like that.

      Better than serfdom, it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Phillips/1844232493 Joe Phillips

    The way to create jobs is to raise the tax rate on the rich, not lower it. Look at the data over history. At times of higher tax rates on the rich, the unemployment rate is lower, not higher. The reason is this: If you are rich and the tax rate is high, you need a lot of tax deductions to keep your money. You have to invest in places that create jobs. If the tax rate on paper investments is too low, like it is now, you can pull your cash out of the economy, buy financial investments like bonds that don’t create jobs that involve producing real goods and services, and pay a 15% rate instead of 30%. Government needs to punish people who take money out of circulation and reward people who don’t. Bankers don’t really produce anything, but the tax code rewards them and punishes real production.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

    I must appologize. As I have now read through the comments I am sorry to report that in support of those few who genuinely want to return to a feudal economy, those who feel taxation is punishment, perhaps there is a reason … for the punishment concept. There seem to be about 50% of posters here that want to use taxes to punish somebody. Pity. I had rather hoped there was a society left in this country. Evidently, too few are showing up here.

    • Fredlinskip

      There’s not enough revenue generated today to put a dent in our nation’s enormous debt. It’ not about punishment, it’s about caring enough about your country, to hope to see it return to a time of greater prosperity-
      For more than just a few.

      I think majority of the country have already been punished – by the exploitative practices of a few.

  • Tom

    We need a flat but
    progressive tax and, of course, spending cuts to keep the balance.

    However, the wealth tax
    is a good idea for both fairness and soundness. The soundness part is that it
    would help reduce the aristocracy – the passing of this wealth along to those
    that do not earn it – inheritance.

    But what I do not
    understand why all of these ideas are always pinned to a dollar amount – like
    $6 million or so.  Lets make it based on
    a relationship to the median wealth for wealth tax, relationship to the median
    for income tax, etc.  If we would have
    done this the AMT would not have crept from the well off to the middle class.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      What you say is fairly sensible. Although it is clear that the term “flat tax” has been much abused and often to either wrong or impractical ends. Absolutely, the dollar amount thing is bogus. It is possibly used to appeal to people who are not handy with abstractions.

      It should be pointed out that the AMT was passed with support from signers of the Norquist pledge to forsake responsible government and the AMT has become the largest single tax hike in US history. After all these many years nobody in Congress is making any serious move to fix it. Gee, go figger.

  • Tired of the Tax Talk

    Just tuned in a few minutes ago.  My family just fits into the 1% being considered in the political conversation today and frequently over the past year.  I have saved for 25 years, drive 10+ year old cars and spend my income very conservatively.  We have invested my money into single family rental homes which we have renovated and barely break even with annual maintenance, increasing property taxes, etc.  I don’t like the idea of a wealth tax for several reasons:
    1.  This policy in implementation is problematic for folks with illiquid assets. 
    2.  This policy does nothing to impact the cost side of government, only revenue generation. 
    3.  The policy assumes all 1% bracket folks pay low taxes.  Even with real estate holdings, we pay 34% federal and 45% overall to federal, state and local governments.  I do not know anyone who has high incomes that does not pay higher levels of taxes.
    4.  This policy promotes consumption … why save and build wealth if you will be taxed on this at a later date.  Our society is  consumption oriented enough.
    5.  This policy assumes that the return on assets exceeds 3% or whatever the wealth tax rate is set.  Most of my savings and 401K assets have earned 1-3% over the past few years.  Excluding inflation, this wealth tax would be a wealth reduction for some parties … unacceptable.

    Lastly, no extreme tax policy changes will occur in the year or most likely ever ….  am I really going to have to listen to this dialogue for the next year.  While interesting, an hour is enough!

    • Fredlinskip

      So.. you’re all right with raising taxes at the top income scale, long as there is some changes to the “cost” side as well?

      I think your last comment is most relevant, because govment is broken, not much will happen for a while, so I wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep over the issue.

    • Yobo

      Replying to Tired of the Tax Talk:
      I can’t really speak to the points you make, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for actually talking about the issue at hand instead of talking about “those rich people” or “those liberals” or whatever.  Thank you for taking the time to post here — your comments are helpful and thought-provoking.

      To Tom Ashbrook — this is an important topic and I’m glad you put it center stage for us,  but unfortunately I don’t think this particular discussion really helped me understand the issues well enough to form an opinion. Maybe in future you could fine-tune it for the non-specialists?

  • John Baltic

    I have long been an advocate of a consumption tax.  Buying 100,000 board feet of lumber (for example) should not be an expense that reduces a company’s (or an individual’s) tax burden.  It should be the basis of the tax burden because consumption has real consequences for The People, the commonwealth, and our shared environment.  I usually describe universal exemptions (not means tested) for groceries, medicine, and one’s principle dwelling.  However I see no reason that the poor should be completely exempt when they buy disposable lighters, disposable diapers, over-packaged fast food, etc.  Crazy, wasteful consumption is a systemic problem that needs some kind of economic disincentive.

    However, near as I can tell, in The United States, businesses consumes about 10 trillion dollars a year and individuals consume another 10 trillion a year.  Remember, the GDP in the US is around 14 or 15 trillion a year.  However, the actual SIZE of the US economy (near as I can calculate) – including purchase of raw materials, purchase of imports, and other business expenses (which are deducted to arrive at GDP) – is at least 24 trillion.

    Here’s my problem.  The IRS currently collects around 2 trillion a year.  If companies and people consume about 20 trillion a year, it would take a 20% consumption tax on everything people and companies consume to match current revenue.  That would be WITHOUT the exemptions I mentioned above.

    Are my numbers just wrong?

    Respectfully,
    John

  • HunterS

    Once again, NPR does a whole program on the presidential candidates and doesn’t mention Ron Paul once. What a sham. I’m done contributing money to this propagandist broadcasting.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

      You must mean Ringo Paul, the two remaining Beatles.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O54ZMFXPAV7NI6NOKRXCFIAR74 Not W

        Ron died in front of the Dalota condos a long time ago.

    • Fredlinskip

      Hope you don’t mind if I ask which program you were referring to?

  • Fredlinskip

    Is there anyone out there naive enough to think that when tax for higher
    income brackets under that great comi socialist dictator Eisenhower was
    95%, anyone was actually paying 95%?

    The purpose of the tax was
    for the wealthy to be encouraged to exploit that loophole (yes-
    regulation) that ENCOURAGED THEM TO REINVEST IN AMERICA.

    (Repost of a comment made early this AM- shoot me).

  • http://complexsystemsblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/welcome-to-management-heretic.html Geoff Willcher

    Tom

    The key issue of a wealth tax is the rationale. We already have a rationale deeply embededed in our legal system. When some one cheats on a contract; when someone steals wealth by fraud, coercion, force, deceit, etc., when someone cheats to get wealth they have not earned it. The extremely wealthy and large public corporations who have manipulated the rules of our economy in their favor have “gamed the system.” Essentially by paying off politicians, judges, administrators and regulators, etc. they have gained wealth illegally and imorally. As the victims of their theft, we have a right to clawback a due portion of their wealth to restore our property and money. No one has a right to ill gotten gains. Its our money and we want it back.

    What we need is a Fair Market Economy, which i talk about on my letter to the 99% in my blog — The Management Heretic.

    Geoff Willcher, PhD.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Sounds Interesting!!

    • John Baltic

      Geoff, I think I understand your point. However, how do we clawback a portion of ill gotten gains without penalizing companies and individuals who acquired their wealth fairly?  It seems as if you are advocating we address systemic corruption by indiscriminately redistributing all wealth – above a certain level.

      Are wealth and income inherently bad? Don’t we create a degree of disincentive when we tax it?

  • John Baltic

    OK.  I found an error in my consumption tax analysis.  If people and companies combined consume 20 trillion dollars a year in The United States, we would need a 10% consumption tax to achieve current federal revenue (about 2 trillion a year).  Not a 20% tax as I posted below.

    However that still does not include my universal exemptions (for real people, not corporations) for groceries, medicine, and one’s principle dwelling.  What proportion of total consumption would be exempted if we include those three sectors?

    Also, is the 20 trillion a year combined consumption figure even close?  It has been very hard for me to determine.  Wasteful society that we are, we don’t seem especially interested in how much we are consuming.

    The argument often advanced by opponents of a consumption tax is that it is regressive.  It hurts poor people more.  However, when we allow exemptions for poor people only – means tested exemptions – it irritates wealthier folks.  Hence the oft repeated notion that 47 million US citizens pay no federal income tax at all.

    Help me with these numbers someone, please.  How much do companies and people in the United States consume?  I’m trying to do away with the income tax, the inheritance tax, and many costly reporting requirements – AND create a financial disincentive for wasteful and environmentally destructive behavior – by advocating a pay as you go consumption tax.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How do you deal with the ‘consumption’ of hoarding wealth, or ‘investing’ it in things for your own pleasure, but charged off as a ‘business expense’?  Just a few of the MANY questions that need answered?

      • John Baltic

        Hi, Terry.

        Yeah, I guess I don’t see how sitting on your money is a form of consumption – or The People’s business in any way.  But, yes!  Corporate jets, a new office building, catered lunches, expense account booze – these are forms of consumption that use up lumber, fuel, etc.  Currently, they are expenses (more for companies than people) which reduce their tax burden.  I am saying consumption should be the BASIS of our tax burden.

        No system is going to be perfect and many people will want to exempt their consumption from taxes.  It would take a constitutional amendment requiring, say, a 100% majority of sitting members of congress to add or remove an exemption.  Otherwise, the exemptions would fly fast and furious and we would end up with a big, messy, unfair, complex tax system.  Much like what we have now!
        Consider the black market.  Often this income goes unreported and untaxed.  True, in the case of illegal  workers, many would not earn enough to be taxed even if they were not being paid under the table.  However, big time drug dealers, who currently get away with virtually no tax on their income, would end up paying a consumption tax when they bought a car, a boat, or a second home.  Instead of fighting a losing battle to track down income that is not being reported, we make selling most things without collecting the consumption tax a crime.

        I know this represents a big change in enforcement strategy and reporting requirements. Sellers would be required to keep track of what they sold, collect the consumption tax, report those figures, and send in the money – much as they do with state sales tax.  No one would have to keep track of expenses or file an income tax return.  There would be no inheritance tax.  The service sector – the largest sector of our economy – would not be taxed on what they earn, but on what they consume (it’s a lot).

        Of course, there would be a black market – people who sold things without charging the tax or reporting it.  Drug dealers and street vendors would continue to get away with it quite often, I’m sure.  But I suspect it would be pretty hard to acquire a Mercedes convertible – let alone 100,000 board feet of lumber, several tons of steel, or 84 million gallons of crude oil - without paying the tax.

  • Fredlinskip

    How about tax breaks for those companies and corps that are hiring at home and tax hikes for those companies that are instead hiring overseas?

    • ulTRAX

      We won’t need to have taxpayers subsidize companies if we just start to reverse free trade. To even suggest special tax breaks is to ignore the real problem.

      Free trade is a self-inflicted wound that was designed to benefit investors over workers. They’d be free to move production to low cost labor nations and bring the products back to the most profitable market… the US. Investors didn’t care what ruination they left behind. THEY made out.

      Once free trade is reversed, jobs will come back on their own WITHOUT the need to give these companies any special perks.

    • Still Here

      Why are they hiring overseas?  Maybe because that’s where they’re selling.  Does P&G have to make all of its Scope in Nebraska, even if it wants to sell it in Kathmandu?  And if it wants to sell there, it has to engage third-party distributors, marketers, ad buyers … rather than building its own presence there?  Where in the pubic sector do you work?

      • Yobo

        Have you been to Kathmandu? A seriously, seriously impoverished city in a seriously impoverished country (in a seriously impoverished region).  I doubt they are buying much mouthwash…

        • Still Here

          I have been.  Might be a good location from which to serve Northern India or is that going to be illegal too.

  • Anonymous

    The level of naked hypocrisy about wealth and taxes expressed on this board in the last twenty four hours is astounding. The dogmatic insistence by so many progressive liberal thinkers that anything smacking of personal wealth represents evil, selfish greed is puerile and dishonest. We all know that we’d love to possess gobs of money. I can’t buy a package of Twinkies at the corner store without getting stuck behind some fool spending fifty dollars on lottery tickets in a vain attempt to win millions of those evil dollars. If a sudden windfall of a huge amount of cash came our way, we’d be beating a path to the tax attorney’s office, lickety-split, in order to make sure we maximize our after tax dollars. I know I would. And, other than a few genuinely philanthropic souls who would truly give much of themselves, so would most of you. I know, I know. If we had all those extra dollars we saved in taxes, “we’d” do the right thing with them. Why, we might even create some jobs. Give a few bucks to a charitable cause or two. You know, the opposite of what all those evil, rich bastards are doing today. We’d be different . What a bunch of clap-trap.                           It’s perfectly valid to criticize the unethical and  illegal actions of those who engage in them. But much of  what I read on these pages is outright  contempt for a level of wealth most of us would take in a heartbeat. I guess money is bad if it’s someon else’s, and just fine if it’s our own.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I rail against the GREEDY rich!  Those that get money and power, through any means, disregarding the harm they do, as long as they PROFIT.  I have stated many times that I don’t have problems with those that accumulate wealth in an honest, ethical manner.  Actually, I APPLAUD them, and hope to emulate them, to some degree.
         Winning your hypothetical $10 Million, or getting it in any other way, I would pay taxes!  Even if the IRS insisted that I didn’t owe, I would pay the taxes, or contribute 20% to 30% to VALID non-profits!
         I have gotten by for decades on little.  If I come into a lot, or a LOT, I still know how to get by on a little!

    • Bbb

      As convincing as an argument with such a learned vocabulary to include the word “puerile” is, it’s obvious you aren’t familiar with christianity, which, in America, tends to serve as the baseline in conversations discussing good and evil.

      Let me refer you to Matthew 19:
      “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of
      heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the
      eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

      • Anonymous

          When this becomes a “CHRISTIAN” nation, I’ll get back to you,

        • Bbb

          It’s hypocritical to follow the tenets of christianity? Or maybe you let slip one too many hyperbolic adjectives in your little polemic there?

          • Yobo

            I don’t think that using a wide vocabulary has anything to do with Christianity. Why even mention it?

          • Anonymous

            Please tell me when this country has ever followed the tenets of Christianity. I said some bad things about my father when I was young. When would you like to kill me for that awful transgression? It’s hypocritical to “pretend” to follow the tenets of Christianity. If Jesus Christ paid us a visit today, he’d be considered to be a bleeding heart, liberal, lefty, pinko and laughed out of
            town. Most Americans wouldn’t “Bless the Meek” or “Offer the Other
            Cheek” on a bet. Concern for the poor has long been considered a loser’s
            bet in this country. I don’t like it, but that’s the reality. Pretending we’re better than we really are doesn’t make it so.

          • Anonymous

               By the way, sorry dat ise talk good eenglish.

      • bellavida

        Nice try Bbb, republicans invoke religion as they see fit.  Cafeteria christians…so to speak.

    • Yobo

      You wrote, “We all know that we’d love to possess gobs of money.”

      …and you are basing that assumption on….???? My guess is that you are basing that assumption on how you, yourself, feel. I’m just guessing, here, but I think you then feel guilty for being so selfish. Then you justify your self-described selfishness by claiming that “we all” feel as you do. If that is the basis of your assumption, you would be completely wrong on several accounts.

      I, personally, chose a path (that I know many others have also chosen) to forego wealth in favor of a higher quality of life.  Less emphasis on material goods, blah, blah, blah. (You must know the cliche, as common as it is, though you apparently choose to ignore it.)

      You also seem to ascribe much more malicious intention to those who simply don’t agree with you. Those who don’t love money-money-money (as you seem to) are not out to get you. They just think differently than you do. If they also feel that wealthy people sometimes abuse their wealth and should be held accountable, why would you criticize that? Do you feel that wealth should also allow a certain impunity for one’s actions?

      I’ve heard others talk about wealth as you do, and I really can’t understand it except that it must be some kind of self-delusion, completely lacking in logic and steeped in an unfortunate combination of self-contempt and disappointment, and hope in the dreams of rags-to-riches stories and fairy tales. Or you are very wealthy and feel a little guilty about it (in which case, you might try spreading your wealth around a little — you’ll feel better for it).

      • Anonymous

        I’m an unemployed truck driver, to whom wealth is an almost unimaginable concept. But I do possess a functioning brain which witnesses, every day, the contempt with which many of the supposed wealth haters on these pages address the rich. If you genuinely believe that most of those people would forgo a chance at such riches , were they  given the chance, then I’d like to find a cheap bridge to sell you. Oh, but then I’d make some of that hateful money, Wouldn’t I?

        • Yobo

          So you are the former — not rich but wish you were.

          It’s true that there are those who hate the wealthy for no particular reason, just *because* they are wealthy. There are also those who idolize the wealthy just *because* they are wealthy, but they never really think about why it’s so great to be wealthy. Some people think that money, in itself, as inherently good; other people think it is inherently evil. (As in all things, the truth is probably somewhere in-between.) I think far fewer people think of money as inherently evil than you seem to think.

          And… why do you make fun of people who buy lottery tickets? Because it takes longer for you to buy your Twinkies? I don’t play the lottery, but I know people who do it for fun and the chance to win, and I wouldn’t belittle them for it.

          • Yobo

            Also meant to say that I think there are far fewer people who wish they were super wealthy than is popularly believed. While pop culture generally idolizes the ultra rich,  my experience is that the vast majority of people just want to be comfortable enough to not have to worry about money. It is the feeling of security that most people strive for, not wealth in itself. Most people.

          • Anonymous

            Too many replies to respond to. If at all interested, please see new comment at top. Thanks

        • Terry Tree Tree

          As a person that has made many comments about the GREEDY rich, I probably am one that you are referring to. 
              I have NO problem with people becoming wealthy, by honest, ethical means.
              I DO have problems with people that accumulate wealth through theft, fraud, robbery, and other crimes!
             Credit-Default Swaps, other deceitful  ‘financial instrument’ proponents, and other crimes too many to list, are high on my list.
            Bernie Madoff got wealthy, through fraud, do you laud him, because he was wealthy?

          • notafeminista

            Is playing the lottery honest and ethical?

            Bernie Madoff committed a crime and was put in jail for it.  Furthermore, his crimes were most likely contributory to his son taking his own life.   Is it really necessary to grind your heel into the broken shards of his life?

          • Anonymous

            Too many replies to respond to. If you’re interested, please see my new comment at top. Thanks

      • Anonymous

        Too many replies to respond to. If you’re at all interested, please see new comment at top. Thanks

    • Michaellong100

       have made small amounts of money and yes, I legally pay capital gains for my income. I don’t mind tax rates but I have no problem with setting tax rates low for “Job Creators” but I find the entire concept of money equals “job creation” laughable. How is a hedge fund trader a “job creator.” I’m not talking about investors putting money into startups or buying stocks. I’m talking about the derivatives guys that populate companies like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Citi who make 41% of corporate profits. Pump and dump stock schemes, conduit accounting, credit default swaps and a steady stream of Fed monetary policy that dumps boatloads of money into your lap is not job creation. They never pay for the losses, but they take the profits and then have the nerve to ask for tax cuts while they do it. I want to vomit when I hear some Wall Street jerk talk about job creation. Steve Jobs was an outstanding job creator and if we had more true innovation we would be doing great. I’m sure Pol Pot employed a lot of people also it does not mean that he was great “wealth creator” for Cambodia. Wall Street, in its horrible too-big-to-fail, hyper-leveraged mess is a job creator for America. Look at GE Capital. America will be a great country again when we learn that bad debt is not financial innovation. 

      When you legalize fraud it always becomes the easiest way to make a living. 

      • Anonymous

        Too many replies to respond to. If you’re interested, please see new comment at top. Thanks

    • ulTRAX

      feet wrote: “The dogmatic insistence by so many progressive liberal thinkers that anything smacking of personal wealth represents evil, selfish greed is puerile and dishonest.”
      I haven’t seen the posts you refer to but I suspect there’s a growing awareness that the Right wing and the malefactors of great wealth have been waging a class war against the rest of us. Worst, they’ve been winning.
      This war is nothing new, but the resentment was kept bottled up because Dems were always cowered by disingenuous class warfare accusations by the Right… and any mention of “class” by Dems seemed Marxist.
      But since Reagan the excesses of this class war are now more evident as is their strategy to bankrupt government to sabotage the safety net… and the bubbling up of resentment is happening even if the Dems are still too cowardly to give it voice. I don’t begrudge anyone becoming rich if they do something for humanity, invent something clever, or a host of other reasons. I do have problems when the market becomes an amoral vehicle for immoral enrichment… or government is corrupted by Big Money at the expense of the rest of us. You may call that what you like.

      • Anonymous

        Too many replies to respond to. If you’re interested, please see new comment at to. Thanks

    • Fredlinskip

      I’m trying to digest your point.
      I guess your contention is that because people are naturally greedy and selfish at heart, we should excuse  the wealthy if their actions may be the leading cause bringing down our country?

      For and by the wealthy?
      For and by the People?
      Make your choice and do it soon.
      Protect, and speak out for the wealthy interests bringing down our country- it’s much easier. America loves a winner. Class warfare has been going strong for the past 30+ years and it’s not hard to see who’s won.

           

      • Anonymous

        Too many replies to respond to. If you’re interested, please see my new comment at top. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/wwwcash Criostoir

    If corporations are people as per the supreme  court then they should pay taxes in the same fashion as people.

    On a more brain dead note, income is income is income and should be taxed at a similar level regardless of it being earned or the result of an investment gain.

    • Rick Walsh

      Corporations do pay taxes.  The dividends ‘the rich’ receive are what is left AFTER corporate tax (35%, highest in the world) has been paid.  If ‘income is income’ then the 15% ‘the rich’ pay AFTER corporate tax is already paid exceeds what most people pay — so in effect you are calling for LOWER tax rates for the rich!

      • ulTRAX

        Look, there’s no end of “double taxation” in our system. You seem only concerned about those taxes that hit the mainly rich. 

        • Rick Walsh

          What is the ‘no end’?  Monies paid for property tax, sales tax etc are not taxed twice, but dividends are taxed twice.  

          There are many people that are not rich (like retired people living on dividends for example) that would be better served with a 0% corporate tax, allowing them to receive all the dividends they are due, and pay taxes at their (lower than 35%) rate. 

          You seem far more concerned about bashing ‘the rich’ than in increasing Federal Tax revenue (via low capital gains rates) and being fair to all by taxing income once, rather than twice.

          • ulTRAX

            RW wrote: “Monies paid for property tax, sales tax etc are not taxed twice, but dividends are taxed twice.”
             
             
            You are a hoot. OF COURSE there’s other double taxation you’re determined to remain blind to.
             
             
            My income used to buy my home and car was taxed, yet I AM taxed again every year on the value of my home and car. My income was taxed yet I’m paying sales and gas taxes.
             
             
            And if few companies actually pay that statutory rate of 35%, then you can’t say ALL profits have already been taxed at 35%… yet that’s what you’re doing. And it’s not as if the company and those who receive the dividends are the same party.
             
             
            But perhaps you have a point. Perhaps we should drop the corporate tax and instead tax the person who receives this UNEARNED income at 50%. Would THAT make you happy?
             
             
            Didn’t think so.
             
             
             

          • Rick Walsh

            You continue to show that you do not understand the issue. The tax on your home (property tax) and sales tax are dedictible on your Federal Tax return.  If you are not doing so, I suggest you 
            check the Turbo Tax manual this year.  You again are making my point — that most income is not taxed a second time — but dividends are taxed twice.

            Companies pay taxes on income minus deductions.  If the deductions exceed income, they don’t pay 
            taxes. If you disagree with the deductions, then fine, go fight that battle — but it is 
            illogical to tax dividends twice since you are concerned about companies paying at less than the statutory rate.

            As far as ‘it’s not as if the company and those who receive the dividends are the same party’, again you seem confused.  The corporation IS the shareholders, so they are in effect the same party — and you think taxing them once when they are a collective group and then again as individuals is fair.  I don’t, and if you deduct your property taxes on your Federal return every year, then neither do you.

            As far as ‘would that make you happy’, it actually would. I already made a similar comment.  A zero corporate tax would be more efficient, and would eliminate the unfairness of taxing ALL corporations at 35% even for shareholders (like retirees) in lower tax brackets.  It would also reduce the incentives for corporations to move offshore and/or lobby for more deductions.

            Of course taxing at 50% is a very bad idea as it would define a new class of income taxed at an even higher rate than ordinary income.  Since the return to shareholders would be less given the taxation impact, corporations would choose to pay fewer dividends, which would hurt those that rely on them (like retirees) and would lower tax revenue to boot since there would be fewer revenues to tax.  

            So your plan would hurt shareholders and lower Federal tax revenue.  Another 
            great idea on your part.

          • ulTRAX

            You seem to have some comprehension problem. I never talked about deducting real estate taxes from my federal returns, now did I?

          • Anonymous

            Well, yes you did.  It’s you that seem to have consistent comprehension problems with your own postings as well as your own links, as I keep pointing out.

            UL: ‘My income used to buy my home and car was taxed, yet I AM taxed again every year on the value of my home and car. My income was taxed yet I’m paying sales and gas taxes. ‘

            If not property taxes, what is the tax you pay on your home?  Do you deduct it each year?   State taxes paid? 

            If you do you are not being double taxed on those moneys — but however foolish you may be with your money, the point is the same — that the govt generally does not double tax income, but does in the case of dividends.

          • ulTRAX

            Of course your amusing argument is flawed in other ways. Exxon made some 45 billion in profits back in 2009 yet paid NO federal income tax.

            http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/04/06/90299/exxon-tax/?mobile=nc

            So are you suggesting that those who receive Exxon dividends should still be taxed only at 15%.

          • Rick Walsh

            Read your own link.  It says they paid $15b in taxes but to foreign governments as they have operations all over the world.  

            Perhaps if the US corporate tax rate was less than 35% — which is the highest in the world — then the incentive to move operations off shore would be reduced and we would have more jobs and more tax revenue.

            By using this link you are actually making my argument that tax rates that are too high lead to economic behavior that generally does NOT help either citizens (jobs) or the government (less tax revenue).

          • ulTRAX

            RW wrote: “You seem far more concerned about bashing ‘the rich’ than in increasing Federal Tax revenue (via low capital gains rates)…”

            You’re again making a claim for which you have no evidence. The increase in capital gains revenue wasn’t because the lower 1997 capital gains rate cut unleashed the economy. That speculative bubble would have happened anyway with all the euphoria over the new internet economy with returns in the 20-30% range. Once the stock bubble broke in 2000, capital gains tax revenue that next year fell by 50% back to 1996 levels the next year.

          • Anonymous

            I demonstrated that capital gains tax revenue increased despite the rate cut in the late 90′s.  The same thing happened when rates were further cut in the 2000′s with Bush.

            What is interesting about you claiming I have no evidence is that your points — 1990′s boom was not impacted by fiscal policy, the speculative bubble would have happened anyway, etc are just your assertions.  You have no proof for them at all.  My points at least show increased revenue with lower rates — you have nothing to show at all to back your assertions.

      • ulTRAX

        BTW, there’s a HUGE difference between the statutory corporate tax rate and the effective tax rate. That you don’t even admit this fact proves you’re just spouting Orwellian Right talking points designed to mislead than inform.

        • Rick Walsh

          Again, what is Orwellian is to continue to use the term Orwellian in an attempt to confuse others reading these posts.  

          The fact is that dividends are already taxed at 35% before distribution to investors.  Those investors paying an additional 15% tax in effect exceeds the tax rate of almost all regular income.  Mitt Romney is in effect paying a higher tax rate on his dividends than almost anyone is paying on regular income.

          • ulTRAX

            RW claims: “The fact is that dividends are already taxed at 35% before distribution to investors.”
             
            Nice claim. ALL corporations pay that 35%? Ever intend to prove it with credible sources?  
             
            Didn’t think so.
             
            Are you that ignorant that you don’t even know that there are different classes of corporations? S-corps are exempt form this “double taxation”….
             
            http://taxes.about.com/od/scorporations/qt/scorp_criteria.htm
             
            So should the s-corp owners still just pay that 15%? Or should they pay more?
             
             

          • Rick Walsh

            UL: ‘Nice claim. ALL corporations pay that 35%? Ever intend to prove it with credible sources?  
            Didn’t think so. ‘

            What are you talking about?  The law is that corporations pay 35% tax on income after deductions, the highest rate in the world.  Are you claiming that most US companies are breaking the law and simply not paying their taxes?  

            I suspect the issue is that you don’t understand that they don’t pay 35% of revenue, or 35% of some other number you also don’t understand — but 35% of income after deductions.  

            Then when they pay out dividends to stockholds that income is taxed at 15% to the individuals — thereby taxing it higher than earned income on a net basis.  

            US companies are paying 35% on income after deductions or they are in violation of the law.  Your assertion is nonsense.
             
            UL: ‘Are you that ignorant that you don’t even know that there are different classes of corporations? S-corps are exempt form this “double taxation”…. 
             
            http://taxes.about.com/od/scor
             
            So should the s-corp owners still just pay that 15%? Or should they pay more? ‘

            You talk loud but do not understand these issues very well.  Mitt Romney is not receiving the dividends on his tax return as an S-Corp.  Do you know what an S-Corp is?  He receives dividends from non-S-Corps that ARE already taxed at the corporate level, then at his level individually.

            An S-Corp does not pay any corporate tax.  All income is passed to the owners who pay tax as if the income was regular income.  So there is no double taxation, but it’s not 15% unless the person is in a low income tax bracket to begin with, so I have no idea what you are ranting about above.  

            Since the income is treated as regular income, when liberals like you talk about increasing tax rates on income, you are hitting S-Corp owners — who are generally small business owners that create many jobs — hard.

          • ulTRAX

            Anyone else been having problems posting the past few days?

            It doesn’t matter if the US has a 35% corporate tax rate if the tax code is so riddled with loopholes, some 2/3 of US corporations back in 2005 paid no taxes. Your argument is if we just lowered this rate, the corporations and their stooges in Washington will magically want to pay more and stop seeking loopholes at that lower rate.
             
            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/business/13tax.html?_r=1
             
            Your claim that we must give stockholders a break on capital gains because that income has already been taxed just doesn’t hold up… unless you’re saying 66% of companies didn’t pay dividends.  
             

          • Anonymous

            It doesn’t matter?  Your logic is that dividends need to be double taxed because of tax loopholes?  How is that fair or logical? How about closing the loopholes instead of taxing the investors?

            Your link says that 2/3rd did not pay taxes, but quotes a researcher saying those are companies that did not make money, so, yes, I am saying those companies did not pay dividends, as does the quoted researcher.

            The link also says 75% of large companies DID pay taxes.  You ought to read your own links.

            Also interestingly you are in good company because the CORRECTION at the end of the article admits that the Times confused revenue with net income in the original article, just as you consistently have been doing along with others in this discussion.
            And btw, I never said anything about capital gains breaks because of double taxation. Capital gains was an entirely different discussion based upon your rant about the 1997 rate cut.  What I said is that dividends should be taxed once, whether at a corporate or individual level.  You continue to not understand the issue.

      • Fredlinskip

            Federal revenues are expected to drop as percent of GDP to lowest point since 1950.
          As you are well aware taxes corps pay are significantly less than 35%. How ‘bout zero for many. How bout less than zero for others. Don’t know what the average is but it’s a WHOLE lot less than %35. Corporate tax rates as Percentage of GDP are near a historic low.
         
           I keep hearing GOP bandying about # 25% or less rate in the debates. Isn’t that the rate we had before Depression?
        Do we really want to try that “experiment” again??

          It seems, IM humble O, this tax rate debate is all about the short-term benefit of some selfish interests at the long-term expense of majority of Americans & the world.

        Many large corps have continued to reap record profits right through (and maybe even helped along by) the recent financial crisis.
        And because they are so powerful, protecting their interests seems to be what American politics is all about.

        You would think America would have woken up to these facts by now. Perhaps corporate-owned media may have something to do with the confusion?

        • Rick Walsh

          ‘Federal revenues are expected to drop as percent of GDP to lowest point since 1950.’ 

          But that is due to the economy being in poor shape.  In 2006 we were above the 30 year average.  The 2008 recession has caused revenues to drop.  What is your point?  Tax policy at that point was sufficient to keep the deficit at a reasonable figure.

          http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/current-tax-receipts

          ‘As you are well aware taxes corps pay are significantly less than 35%. How ‘bout zero for many. How bout less than zero for others. Don’t know what the average is but it’s a WHOLE lot less than %35. Corporate tax rates as Percentage of GDP are near a historic low. ‘

          Not sure what you mean, and I am aware of no such thing.  The law is 35%. Like ulTrax are you saying most companies are breaking the law?  If income minus deductions is negative, they don’t pay.  Do you expect them to pay taxes when their tax liability is zero?

          ‘I keep hearing GOP bandying about # 25% or less rate in the debates. Isn’t that the rate we had before Depression? Do we really want to try that “experiment” again??’

          Are you saying a 25% tax rate would create a depression? In 1986, tax reform put the highest rate at 28% and eliminated many deductions.  Did we have a depression then?

          ‘It seems, IM humble O, this tax rate debate is all about the short-term benefit of some selfish interests at the long-term expense of majority of Americans & the world.’

          In what way?  Something like half of those filing taxes pay $0 in Federal taxes. How much less than $0 should they pay?  The top 1% pay a huge percentage, and pay more as a percentage of all taxes than they did back under Jimmy Carter.  How much more is fair?  (Also, I am nowhere near the top 1% in case you think that is my angle.)

          ‘Many large corps have continued to reap record profits right through (and maybe even helped along by) the recent financial crisis. 
          And because they are so powerful, protecting their interests seems to be what American politics is all about.’

          Yes, and they pay 35% tax, the highest in the world.  How much more do you want?

          • fredlinskip

            Appreciate your passion sir. I will try to resist the temptation to respond to your comment point by point. Matter of fact I thing I might take this argument in a tangential direction.

              “‘Federal revenues are expected to drop as percent of GDP to lowest point since 1950.’ But that is due to the economy being in poor shape.”
               I think part of the weakness of you’re arguments is that it fails to take into the account the role “bubble economies” play in all this. Of course “B.E’s” will produce more revenue. And during them is not the time to decrease revenue as W did with his tax cuts which benefited mostly the few- that would be the time to first PAY DOWN AMERICA’S DEBT OBLIGATIONS, instead of waiting for a recession to do so- this seems to me unassailable logic). At least Clinton Admin had some sense in this regard during the Tech bubble (which when it deflated, was nowhere near as devastating as the global Ponzi scheme mortgage/ credit bubble under Bush).
               Lowest income Americans pay taxes on purchases, etc. and SHOULD probably pay something in the way of income tax. The fact they don’t is because all we’ve heard from GOP for 30+ years is “All taxes bad” in their unrelenting pursuit to “borrow and Spend” (or I would argue ‘borrow in order to funnel $ to wealthy interests’- whether it be war profiteering or  medicaid part D, etc.). It’s not hard to sell the notion of “ATB” to American people until the bill comes due. I would think that at that point it might dawn on Americans, “Hey the ‘deficits don’t matter’ policies of W Admin are a bit goofy, we actually might need some $ to pay down debt”.
               Yeah there’s room for some spending cuts and “entitlements” have gotten some out of hand, but this isn’t something our ‘fearless leaders’ should not have been able to foresee. Boomers were going to get old and need to retire someday, No? These issues should have been taken on in times of prosperity.
               I see corporate greed and political influence in all this, no?

          • Anonymous

            ‘Some room’ for spending cuts and entitlement reform?  Medicaid (you mean Medicare, right), part D was for wealthy interests??  what?

          • Fredlinskip

            No I am Saying that Medicare, part D (appreciate the correction) was unfunded.
                If you haven’t ascertained from my comments, I’m not in the “deficits don’t matter” crowd.

          • Anonymous

            I agree that was a bad idea.  What I objected to is your ‘borrow to funnel to wealthy interests allegation’.  I see Med D as a political tool to win votes for the 2004 election.  I don’t see the conspiracy with wealthy interestes.  Deficits as large as we have now do matter.  Relatively small deficits do not matter much imho.

          • Fredlinskip

            My apologies

            Didn’t Medicare Part D legislation “funnel” $ to pharmaceutical cos?

          • Rick Walsh

            out of room :)

          • ulTRAX

            Of course it did!

          • Fredlinskip

            & insurance cos.
            (see below)

          • Fredlinskip

            Your Heritage link seems to imply that soon as economy improves all will be ‘dandy’ again. I would disagree- until America permanently stamps out the disingenuous notion of supply-side economics that they have been so brainwashed into, then our problems will persist- no matter what the state of our economy.

          • Fredlinskip

            That is- if our economy ever does fully recover from the foundational economic disaster which occurred under W’s ‘watch’.

          • Anonymous

            You are making sweeping statements with wide generalities.  

            You are saying that the 2008 recession that we have not recovered from despite the stimulus and three years of Obama is due to supply side economics and GW Bush? 

          • Fredlinskip

            I am saying that the wound inflicted by the financial crisis was a whole lot deeper than SOME would like to admit- Worse than  our country has seen for 8 decades.
               
               You want to talk about smaller specifics talk to Ultrax- I am attempting to “broaden”  discussion a bit.

          • Rick Walsh

            No offense, but broadening it too far leads to speaking in cliches on the left and right to no benefit imho.

          • ulTRAX

            Are you suggesting that Obama went back in time an caused the Bush Recession with the Stimulus?

            OF COURSE Bush’s policies of deregulation and fiscal irresponsibility  not only cause the crash but left some $5 trillion in new debt.

          • Anonymous

            No, I asked if he was still blaming GWB for the state of the economy after 3 years of Obama and trillions in stimulus.

            If you are concerneabout $5b in debt (as am I) look at the link I provided.2009 to 2012 (estimated) is $5.3T in just one term!

      • ulTRAX

        One easy way for corporations to not pay this corporate tax… at what ever effective rate, is to reinvest. At that point it’s not “profit” even if that value is retained by the corporation.

        • Anonymous

          Sure, that is true, but in that case there is no dividend to be sent to Mr Romney, so your whole argument about the rich being under-taxed becomes moot regarding dividend payments.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • Rick Walsh

    There is 

  • Rick Walsh

    Dividends are already taxed at 35% at the corporate level, so Romney’s dividends are only what is left AFTER that tax is already paid.  Should we eliminate corporate taxes and have Mitt pay more?  Fine, but the revenue is the same either way — it just gives liberals less to complain about.  

    Also on the 15% capital gains tax.  When the rate is increased, there is disincentive to sell stocks so LESS revenue is produced.  The reason we balanced the budget under Clinton/Gingrich is the  cut in capital gains rate and rising stock market that served to increase tax revenue even at the lower rate.  Or do we want a higher rate to ‘fix’ Mitt Romney while we receive LESS tax revenue in doing so?  

    • ulTRAX

      I see you’ve been reading your Orwellian Right talking points. The Clinton revenue steamroller was well underway long before that small 1997 tax cut in capital gains. Revenues were exceeding CBO predictions starting in 95. I went through all those old CBO reports and posted the info a few months ago.

      But I know the Orwellian Right needs to lie about this because there’s no other way to sell irresponsible tax cuts for the rich. So carry on.

      • Rick Walsh

        Revenues exceeding CBO predictions is not the point.  Look at the numbers and you will see capital gains revenue increasing from $261b in 1996 to $644b in 2001 — ‘despite’ the cut in rates — or perhaps ‘because’ of the cut in rates.  It’s neither a lie, nor Orwellian.  What is Orwellian is to call a tax cut that resulted in a significant increase in tax revenue irresponsible.  

        • ulTRAX

           Correlation is not causation. I get a cold, pray for 5 days… and the cold is gone. So was prayer the cure?  This is the nonsense the Orwellian Right wants us to believe.
          The Clinton Surplus was going to happen regardless of what Newt and the GOP Congress did. That the rooster crows doesn’t bring on the dawn. That revenue surplus was set in motion by the 1993 tax hike. Read the CBO reports from the 90′s that show how the revenue was increasing.
          As for the disingenuous claim the 1997 capital gains tax cut magically created a revenue boom… the tech stock bubble would have happened anyway… and the capital gains tax rate cut didn’t increase revenues from capital gains from that bubble… it REDUCED that revenue. That’s what tax cuts do. And if you’re still convinced the GOP was responsible for the Clinton Surplus, then why in Newt try to pass a massive tax CUT in 1999?
          I suspect you just can’t grasp the obvious. These last 30 years the GOP has become schizophrenic. The old time fiscal conservatives are gone. The new GOP thinks fiscal irresponsibility will create a fiscal crisis that can be used to dismantle the Democratic safety net. But the GOP can’t give up on the old time language since it’s useful in masking their true agenda. Feel free to fall for this transparent ploy. Just don’t expect me to join you. 

    • Gregg

      Obama admitted that but said it was a matter “fairness”.

  • Mmaaaxx

    I think of it this way: Do we want to live in a society in which the government has complete control of your wealth and can, at it’s will, dig into your pocket to take what it thinks it needs? Not me…please.

    Can we not live on principle? There are many reasons not to like Mitt Romney, but we musn’t demonize those who make money through investment. Investment benefits society; one realizes that when they want to start a company and need to borrow some money or is looking for a job with said company that may or may not exist.

  • Mmaaaxx

    I think of it this way: Do we want to live in a society in which the government has complete control of your wealth and can, at it’s will, dig into your pocket to take what it thinks it needs? Not me…please.

    Can we not live on principle? There are many reasons not to like Mitt Romney, but we musn’t demonize those who make money through investment. Investment benefits society; one realizes that when they want to start a company and need to borrow some money or is looking for a job with said company that may or may not exist.

    • Rom-Money

      The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

    • bellavida

      Hmm….when Bain capital can buy up companies, and take out loads of debt in the name of said companies, and sell them at a profit and make huge sums OR buy up companies, take out loads of debt, sell them at a loss (but not before they take huge commission fees first), I don’t see how that is beneficial for anyone but Bain investors.   It’s always a win/win for them.  There was an excellent article in the WSJ about that, hardly a leftist enterprise.

      • Rick Walsh


        take out loads of debt, sell them at a loss (but not before they take huge commission fees first)’

        You actually believe Bain could buy a company, load it with debt, sell it at less than they paid (what you said above), and STILL make money because of a sales commission?  You should read the article more carefully.  There is no magic means to make money on a losing investment.  Not all Bain investments worked out — plenty lost money.  

  • Rom-Money

    The new name of Romney is Rom-Money.

  • Rick Walsh

    Enough with Orwell and schizophrenia.  I agree that correlation is not necessarily causation — but if that is so how is it that you can assert that the Clinton Surplus, huge capital gains tax revenue increases, etc are entirely explained by Clinton’s 1993 tax increases?  For tax policy you prefer, evidently there is causation, but others that draw a similar conclusion for tax policy they prefer of course simply can’t grasp the obvious?

    The point is that you called the 1997 capital gains tax cut ‘irresponsible’, and while no one can entirely prove its impact (just as you cannot prove the 1993 tax increase created surpluses), it clearly did not result in a net loss of tax revenue.

    Further, the CBO did not predict that the 1993 tax hike would balance the budget as you state.  You may recall Clinton fighting with Congressional Republicans over a balanced budget in 1995.  As you can see in this link, the CBO projected deficits of $175b plus throughout the 1990′s, even after the 1993 tax hike that you assert was ‘causation’ (http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/55xx/doc5506/doc07-Entire.pdf); even those sponsoring the tax hike never predicted that result.  Since the CBO projections you seem to respect did not forecast this result, something impacted the budget situation, and we can see capital gains tax revenue doubling after the cut in rates.

    So it’s not me that can’t grasp the obvious.  The facts are a) the CBO did not predict a surplus from the 1993 tax hike so asserting it as causation for the surplus is fantasy, and b) the Capital Gains tax cut of 1997 did not decrease tax revenue (while I cannot prove it caused the increase, CUTTING rates did not reduce net revenue) and revenue more than doubled by 2000.  You can blather on about transparent ploys, Orwell, etc, but these facts are clear. 

    • Still Here

      Exactly, tax policy doesn’t create macroeconomic outcomes.

      • Fredlinskip

        Then why not tax 0 or 100%?
        Of course tax policy matters.

        • Rick Walsh

          I agree that it seems clear that it matters — the question is to how large a degree.  If it does not matter at all what is the point of any tax policy changes, govt spending, etc.   

          UlTrax seems to say it matters positively when taxes are increased, but when taxes are cut any positive result would have occurred anyway.

          • Fredlinskip

            In a bubble economy of course revenues are going to increase. And W was sitting on quite the bubble.
            He could have borrowed out the yin yang from China ( and others), enter into  unnecessary foreign occupations, and have large unfunded mandates, and revenues SILL would have rose.
            Oh wait- he did all that.
            Oh wait- he did all that.

          • Anonymous

            GW was not sitting on a bubble.  The internet bubble crashed in early 2000, before GW was nominated.  GW inherited a surplus, but a stock market that was down big, and then 9/11 nine months later.

            Our deficits are much larger under Obama than GW if you concerned about borrowing from China.  If you think MedD was unfunded, do you think ObamaCare is financially sound?  Tax revenue did rise in the 2000′s after the GW tax cuts.

          • ulTRAX

            RW wrote: UlTrax seems to say it matters positively when taxes are increased, but when taxes are cut any positive result would have occurred anyway.

            I agree with Laffer that if taxes are too high, then growth might suffer… if too low, revenue suffers. I think it’s a simplistic concept… but there’s some bit of truth here.

            If revenues are low DESPITE economic growth… as they were between 03 and 08, then the tax rates were too low. Of course in the world of Orwellian math… depressed revenue for 4-5-6 years = a trickle down revenue boom.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, it serves as support for supply side economics.  

            Taxes were cut in 2001 and 2003, and revenue dropped as a result, but the cuts sparked growth in the economy to the point that by 2006 revenue was 30% higher than in 2001.

            That’s not Orwellian.  You will now dismiss this by saying it would have happened anyway, which you cannot prove.  And then say I cannot prove growth was due to the cuts.  I can only point to huge growth in tax receipts under RR, in the late 90′s, and  after the GWB tax cuts – and I suppose the JFK tax cut of the early 60′s.

    • ulTRAX

      Only the Orwellian Right claims tax cuts increase revenues and tax hikes don’t… which is why I call them Orwellian.

      I already posted all the numbers and sources back in these forums… perhaps other ones as well. I don’t have the time to go through it all again. 

      http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/09/30/week-in-the-news-166

      http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/08/05/week-in-the-news-159

      But a quick summary… first, let’s untangle revenue from deficits the latter being the interplay of revenue and spending. There were no tax bills between 1993 and 1997 though there were some spending cuts in late 1995 that would affect the deficit. But if we just look at revenue, we see that the CBO predictions were way too pessimistic. For instance they predicted a slowdown for 1995 which didn’t happen.

      All you’re doing is regurgitating the same disingenuous logic the Orwellian Right uses to deny Clinton had anything to do with the surplus and try to credit Newt’s spending cuts and the 1997 tax cut. You’re taking a snapshot showing CBO forecasts of large deficits into the future and claiming SEE! Clinton could never have balanced the budget on his own. But if you look at ALL the CBO reports from the era, and look just at revenue, you see the revenue growing and all the CBO predictions… even from one year before, were way off.

      More relevant to this discussion is a December 1998 study PROJECTING FEDERAL TAX REVENUES AND THE EFFECT OF CHANGES IN TAX LAW where the CBO critiques its own forecasts. For example the after the 1993 tax hike the CBO forecast for 1998 revenues was $174 billion LOWER than actual revenues. This was due to the combination of a booming economy AND the higher tax rates. No, this can’t be explained by some magical explosion in capital gains taxes from the 1997 tax cut. There was a prediction of a small 6 billion rise in 1998 but from there on the CBO predicted loses. Actual tax receipts from capital gain rose about 10 billion between 97 and 98 when we reached the unified surplus.

      http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=161

      So to credit the 1997 tax cut with bringing in a flood of new revenue is laughable. The Internet bubble was going to happen regardless of the tax cut on capital gains… and that tax cut may have fostered more reckless speculation even as it under-taxed it.

       

      • ulTRAX

        My position is that while Newt’s spending cuts helped, they were not critical to the surplus. Revenue was already on a steep growth curve and at best the spending cuts sped the surplus by a year.

        Bottom line, the surplus was built on ALL the corrective steps taken to repair the damage Reagan’s 1981 ERTA tax cuts did. Reagan took some of these steps himself with massive tax hikes in 82 and 83. Bush1 followed as did Clinton. As Laffer says, if tax rates are too low, the optimum revenue levels won’t be collected. All spending cuts during this period also helped.  But it also took a strong economy AND that stock market boom to get us to a surplus which the as soon as it was reached, the GOP rushed to sabotage any debt paydown.  Why? Because deficits and debt were the Right’s most promising strategy to undermine the New Deal and Great Society safety nets. Who would buy into undermining the fiscal health of our government? The Orwellian Right would provide the justifications. I see you’ve been drinking their Kool Aid. 

        • Rick Walsh

          We can agree that controlled spending and a strong economy that boosts tax receipts are the best means to reduced deficits.  The question is how to do so.  

          I don’t agree that the surplus was based chiefly upon Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton increasing taxes.  For example the deficit under Reagan in 1987 was lower as a percent of GDP than it was under Bush I or the first two years of Clinton.  If the Bush tax hikes were necessary and helpful, why were the deficits much higher during his term?  Might there be other factors?

          http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.pdf

          As far as Laffer, he would not call the point at which tax rates start to reduce tax revenue ‘optimum’ by any means.  He would favor much lower rates, while arguing that rates higher than that point are futile, but are not ‘optimum’ at that rate.

          The Orwellian point in your post is that the New Deal and Great Society safety nets have been undermined.  Talk about drinking Kool-Aid.  Under JFK we spent 55% of the Federal budget on Defense.  Under Reagan something like 33%.  Now under 20%.  Spending on the Social Security Ponzi scheme and Medicare have increased hugely.   We added a huge stimulus more recently.  Domestic and entitlement spending have never been higher, and are out of control at this point. I am not opposed to those programs, but major reforms to make them viable for the long term is necessary.  Continuing to spend on them without reform is not sustainable regardless of tax policy (outside of Draconian increases) — and certainly is not something that Mitt Romney’s dividend tax rate has created.  If you are really in favor of improving the fiscal health of the govt you would favor such reform.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If ‘conservatives’ are so ‘conservative’, and against waste, fraud, and abuse, why do I NOT hear of them publicly exposing their contributors that commit these crimes?  Is it  ONLY ‘liberals’ that have contributors  that commit these crimes? 
               ‘Conservatives’ claim the moral highground, therefore should be MORE moral than the people they claim have NO morals!

          • Anonymous

            I was writing about tax receipts and entitlement spending.  I have no idea what crimes you are talking about.

          • ulTRAX

            RW: I don’t agree that the surplus was based chiefly upon Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton increasing taxes.

            I thought I was clear that deficits were the interplay between revenue and spending. But you seem determined to hold Reagan blameless even if he nearly tripled the debt. I won’t defend past Dems or GOP who let the debt slowly rise to about 940 billion… but it’s clear there was some change in policy during the Reagan years… and that was his irresponsible tax cuts. In constant dollars revenues only rose about 15% in 8 years.

            RW: As far as Laffer, he would not call the point at which tax rates start to reduce tax revenue ‘optimum’ by any means. He would favor much lower rates, while arguing that rates higher than that point are futile, but are not ‘optimum’ at that rate.

            The Right uses Laffer as cover for it’s tax cutting agenda. But the Laffer curve doesn’t suggest cutting taxes forever… which the Right seems intent on doing, will increase revenues. If revenues are too low despite economic growth… then the rates are too low.

            Another consideration is that tax rates/revenue are not abstract concepts. There’s a real world out there… and in that real world We The People are now $15 trillion in debt. It’s one thing to argue over taxes vs spending if there’s no debt. It’s quite another to know we’ve pissed away some 14 trillion on ourselves the past 30 years that we refuse to pay for. In this context the Right’s insistence on more tax cuts isn’t just unconscionable, it’s obscene. What the Right is proposing is the biggest theft in history… some $14 trillion by our generation from our kids and grandkids.

          • Anonymous

            This link shows Federal tax revenues growing from $600b to almost $1t under Reagan.

            http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200 

            I don’t hold RR blameless for the deficits.  What I said is that I do not agree that the surplus was created from tax increases in 1982 and 1991, along with Clinton’s.  

            If you look at the link you will see growth in tax revenue and controlled spending in the 1995 to 2000 era.  You see that as due to tax increases. I see it as the economy growing in spite of the higher tax rates, and a boost from the 1997 Cap Gains rate cut.

            I understand the Laffer curve and did not argue that cutting taxes forever (ultimately to 0%) would continue to boost revenue.  What I did was point to two specific eras (1997-2000 and 2003-2006 or so when cap gains tax revenue grew significantly despite rate cuts.

            I agree that we need the budget to be under control.  Again, however, if you look at he link, as recently as 2007 we were in reasonable shape. The crash of 2008 cut revenue and the out of control stimulus have put us completely out of synch.  

            Please note that under GW Bush revenue grew almost 30% from 2001 to 2006, despite the end of the internet bubble and 9/11.  I would agree that under GW Bush there was far too much spending (although nowhere near where we are now).

      • Rick Walsh

        ‘Only the Orwellian Right claims tax cuts increase revenues and tax hikes don’t… which is why I 
        call them Orwellian. ‘

        Perhaps you should call them ‘fantasy’ or ‘straw man’ since I did not make those points.  In 
        general income tax cuts lower revenues, with the goal of incentiving growth so higher production 
        increases tax revenue over time. In the case of capital gains, however, this is not always the 
        case, and your reference below demonstrates that it is so, as I will explain.

        ‘You’re taking a snapshot showing CBO forecasts of large deficits into the future and claiming 
        SEE! Clinton could never have balanced the budget on his own’.

        Wrong again. I used that data to show that you wrongly used the causation/correlation argument. 
        I can use that data to just as easily show Clinton’s tax hikes did not create a surplus, since 
        the CBO and Clinton himself never expected or predicted they would, as you can assert that the 
        capital gains cuts did not cause the surplus.  Neither can be proven 100%, yet you accused me of not understanding causation/correlation, while you were using causation/correlation of the Clinton tax hikes to explain all good things — from the surplus to the Internet boom.

        ‘There was a prediction of a small 6 billion rise in 1998 but from there on the CBO predicted loses. Actual tax receipts from capital gain rose about 10 billion between 97 and 98 when we reached the unified surplus. ‘

        But you are missing the point.  Look at the link you provided.  In 1996 we had $66b in capital 
        gains tax revenue at an effective rate of 25.5%, but in 2000, we had $127b in tax revenue at an 
        effective rate of 19.8%.  Revenue doubled despite the tax rate being cut.  I know you will 
        reflexively respond that ‘it would have happened anyway’ due to 1993 tax hikes, but that is not 
        the point — the point is that revenues did NOT decrease with the tax cut — they doubled in 
        four years despite a cut in the tax rate.

        ‘So to credit the 1997 tax cut with bringing in a flood of new revenue is laughable. The Internet bubble was going to happen regardless of the tax cut on capital gains… and that tax cut may have fostered more reckless speculation even as it under-taxed it. ‘

        Right, revenue doubling is not significant and it’s laughable to point out that it happened even at lower tax rates?  And tax cuts don’t have any impact except when you want to blame them for reckless speculation?  

        Note as well the huge increase in capital gains recognized — more than a 2.5x increase.  Low rates create incentive to not hold investments for tax avoidance purposes, leading to more efficient use of capital — all the while adding tax revenue to the government coffers.

        • Modavations

          The guys a bully.This is how he gets his Jollys.He is a Stalker.His point is always that Bush is the devil incarnate and Communism is the solution.Go and read the Dec.2 post.You’ve been warned

          • ulTRAX

            Again, it’s you who’s doing the “stalking”, isn’t it Einstein!

            And you’re again accusing me of posts by a perp unknown in which I was also maligned.

    • Modavations

      You have to love a guy who continually fixates on Orwell,even though Orwell despises the Left.What does this gutythink Animal Farm is all about?

      • ulTRAX

        I see the resident Village Idiot has decided to weigh in on a point he’s already been corrected on numerous times. The term I used was ORWELLIAN… an adjective, not Orwell the person.

        Any of this sinking in yet Einstein?

        Didn’t think so.

  • Fredlinskip

      It seems IM humble O, the tax rate debate is all about short-term benefit of some selfish interests at long-term expense of majority of Americans & the world.

    Many large corps have continued to reap record profits right through (and many helped along by) the recent financial crisis.
    And because they are so powerful, protecting their interests seems to be what American politics is all about these days.

    You would think America would have woken up to these facts by now.

    Main Stream Media simply has not the courage to report the facts; in the same way as they refused to research and report the facts building up to the Iraq War. Corporate ownership of these media sources likely has much to do with this.

    “If you can fool most of the people most of the time, you can pretty much rule the world”-
     Rupert Murdoch

    • Gregg

      Two questions: Why do you suppose the Justice Department is not going after them? Why doesn’t the MSM seem too concerned about this?

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/20/us-usa-holder-mortgage-idUSTRE80J0PH20120120

      I agree with Murdoch but I don’t think it’s possible. You can only fool the uninformed.

      • Fredlinskip

        That’s a good article and a web site I’ll visit more.
        But I don’t know how the information within negates anything I said in my comment.
          
            If you you are arguing that Dems are more involved with the corruption than GOP- I would disagree. $ in politics is pervasive, but Dems HAVE lead more efforts to ATTEMPT to do something about it. While GOP, like EVERYTHING and ANYTHING Dems have tried to accomplish have fought against new REGULATION tooth and nail.
        (See Frank Dodd Act, etc.)

        The larger point of my comment is that those supporting FURTHER CUTS for the Wealthiest amongst us, IMO, are spitting in the face of reality. Such a ridiculous notion would not even be being proposed if not for the pervasive influence of  corporate ownership of MSM, IMO.

        Rupert’s FOX News and WSJ are leading the pack in this regard, while other outlets follow sheepishly.

        This was the same scenario in the lead up to Iraq War.

        • Fredlinskip

          By the way, you called me a liar in a previous thread because I had the audacity to criticize the integrity of you’re “faves” Rush and Fox.
              In my above post, Rupert never made such a quote- My apologies- This was the first time  I ever took on such “creative liberty” because in my heart that’s what I believe is Murdoch “modus operandi”.

          Now that GOP is entering the Florida primary, here is an actual quote, (slightly edited for brevity):

             “The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can’t deposit the truth in a bank. You can’t buy groceries with the truth. You can’t pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another thing coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don’t have any money.”

          • Gregg

            I never called you a liar and was clear about that.

            I am saying Holder is getting a pass that John Ashcroft would not.

          • Fredlinskip

            Liar!
            JUST KIDDING!

          • Fredlinskip

            Forgot to say above quote was by Jeb Bush

          • Gregg

            Interesting quote but more interesting is the non-endorsement of Romney by Jeb.

          • wrick

            Are you sure?  It sounds like nonsense.  I googled it and found it attributed to a book by somebody named Al Martin that sounds like a fruitcake conspiracy theorist.

            http://www.steamshovelpress.com/offlineillumination11.html

            http://mideastconflict.tribe.net/thread/4b60427f-53a4-467a-a524-af739da13819

          • Fredlinskip

            I suppose you can never be 100% sure- I wasn’t there when he said it.
            There seems to be numerous links that accept that he did. I don’t see him denying it.

          • Rick Walsh

            Wow, are you an attorney? :) You accept something that sounds ridiculous from the evidence of a conspiracy theory nutcase because Jeb did not deny it?  
            Very Fair and Balanced on your part.  

            Even fruitcake Al Martin states the ‘quotation’ is from 1986 (!) when Jeb was not in politics and W was still pounding Budweisers.  I see the quote in countless left wing websites without attribution or context.  Please be at least a little bit skeptical.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps you’re right.

            Damn,I liked that quote!

          • Anonymous

            asdothousands of left wingblogs!  

        • Gregg

          Dodd/Frank is horrible law with onerous job killing regulations. To hold that position isn’t to say I’m against regulation. I just the it’s much more nuanced than you view it.

          You give a great example of what bugs me about the bastardization of the English language. I realize some candidates have proposed overhauling the entire tax code but tax cuts have never been proposed. Yet many think Republicans have demanded tax cuts. Where do they get it?  I blame them for being uninformed. People believe Obama cut income taxes and didn’t raise any taxes. They believe there was no yellow cake in Iraq and that Bush banned stem cell research. Wacky stuff, too much NPR and not enough Fox.

          • Fredlinskip

            I sited Dodd/Frank as an example of EFFORTS at preventing another disastrous financial collapse.
            Why is it 1,000′s of pages whereas Glass- Steagal required 40, I don’t know. Perhaps if G-S was reinstated, it bring more attention to the fact that it was finally repealed under a Dem administration.
            Perhaps, it had much to do with trying to work around GOP obstructionism at the time.

            There has been much mention during GOP debates of lowering corporate tax rate to 25% or lower.

            Yellow cake issue- I haven’t researched. You may perhaps rightfully accuse me of wishing to be willfully ignorant. I’ll look into it when I have more time on my hands.

            The Bush stem-cell thing is a tiny issue compared to 40 or 50 other more “problematic” issues that occurred under W.

            Of course if you’re watching a lot of Fox, Rupert/Ailes will have convinced you otherwise.

          • Gregg

            Do you believe Bush banned stem cell research?

          • frelinskip

            Without looking up quickly, if memory serves, he banned research on some lines- not all.

          • wrick

            Then what is your point about stem cell?  Bush banned Federal funding for embroynic stem cell research.  He did not ban private research.  He continued funding for non-embryonic.

          • Gregg

            Bingo, but people who get their news from NPR think he banned it. Fredlinskip is an example as he rails against Fox.

          • Fredlinskip

            Glad  he did so. I didn’t make any point. I was asked a question I answered. I can’t answer below because comment space is limited. you’re going goofier even then usual on me there Gregg.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            I just found out that Chris Dodd has a job lobbying for Hollywood and he was threatening the Dems with withholding campaign contributions if they didn’t pass SOPA.

            He is the gift that keeps giving.

  • Anonymous

    Several days ago I posted a comment about the double standard that exists within the liberal community regarding wealth, the pursuit of such, and my liberal brethren’s institutionally ingrained contempt for other people’s money. Many of my liberal counterpart’s took me to task for my views. However, I stand by every one of them.                                        The most blatant evidence of blind contempt for all things money I can give is the  failure of most of you to take note of my very clear denunciation of shady dealings on Wall Street or in the world of big business. “It’s perfectly valid to criticize the unethical and Illegal actions of those who engage in them.” I don’t know how I could have been more crystal clear in my contempt for the shenanigans in which many rich folks engage. Yet, most of you either chose to ignore that direct quote, or were simply blind to it because you couldn’t conceive of a bleeding heart liberal like me condemning the dishonest behavior of many of the rich, while admitting to no knee-jerk contempt for the monied people of the world. Someone even implied, despite my statement to the contrary, that I approved of Bernie Maddoff’s criminal activity. Idealogical BLINDNESS!                           More dismaying still, is the failure to recognize the primary point of the post, liberal hypocrisy. Contrary to the belief of many of that you that the good hearted American public is not as greedy as I think and that adoration of money is not endemic, the evidence is with me. If anyone’s interested, please see above. I just hit the wrong button.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Which commandment is:
      “thou shall not covet my neighbor’s stuff”

      • Anonymous

        My post is addressing the hypocrisy of liberals. It has nothing to do with covetousness. I believe we all have the right to covet anything we please. Please read more carefully.

  • Ellen Dibble

    For some reason the so-called American dream of unbounded success is reminding me not so much of the British imperialists and their stamp tax, but of the Spanish conquistadors, with their earlier gold rush to southern parts of the Americas.  Why?
        Didn’t they link the idea that their success was self-validating with the idea that they were validated by greater morality?  Catholicism.  On a golden platter.  They had the religious fervor of the right, and the deep pockets of modern capitalists.  How exactly did the South Americans shake those loose?  I’ll have to do some reading.

  • Anonymous

          Across this country, from coast to coast, the downtown retail business districts of towns, both large and and small, have been decimated. They consist largely of nail salons, sub shops, and package stores. Many of you would blame the decline of what once was the thriving downtown shopping experience to the proliferation of evil businesses like Wal-Mart and big box stores like Best Buy, Petco, and Sports Authority. You’d be wrong. The blame lies with us, the American consumer. We could have continued to give our business to Joe’s Electronics, or Amy’s Petstore Supply, or Rudy’s Sporting Goods, not to mention the thousands of book stores that were driven out of business by the likes of Borders and Barnes and Noble. But, instead, we decided it was more important to save those bucks. We drove small town retail commerce practically into oblivion because it was more important to save  five dollars on a laundry basket from Wal-mart than it was to spend a few more bucks while supporting the local 5+10. If we could save 200 dollars on that 3000 dollar home theater set-up by shopping at Best Buy, Why give our business to Joe’s on Main street. Make no mistake. WE put those millions of small shops out of business through our love of saving money, even if we could afford to pay a bit more. I’ve never seen liberal criticism of the public’s decision to ignore small business because “our” love of money and “STUFF” is somehow forgivable, while the wealthy of the world are supposed to give all their money away, or be considered greedy monsters. And please don’t give me that sanctimonious, “Oh, we don’t mean the good rich. We only mean the bad rich.” If anyone can look through the 952 comments below and not see that   blatant contempt for the rich runs throughout regardless of how those riches may have been attained, you’re not looking very hard. It’s pure bigotry, the likes of which none of you would forgive if directed at any other group. I won’t even go into the frenzied greed associated with lotteries throughout the country. Suffice It to say, making a quarter billion dollars by laying five dollars on the counter is apparently justified. How long is it before these new millionaires become “bad” people?                                   

    • Fredlinskip

      Hmm. Uhh. All righty then.

      No seriously. You make some good points there.
      BUT it actually does actually matter how the $ was made. Do you not differentiate the difference between theft and rewards for honest endeavor? I’m not talking about Sam Walton. I’m talking about CEO’s of financial industry who WILLFULLY caused so much damage to our country, for example. We are suppose to expect these folks misplaced  “charitable giving” is going to make all that right again?
      I don’t know/ Need to sleep.
      See you next thread.

  • Anonymous

    Besides the lack of understanding of this issue by posters on this thread, Tom Ashbrook started off on the wrong foot with misinformation and misunderstanding of the issue.

    TA: ‘Mitt Romney says he pays a tax rate near 15 percent. Nice, if you can get it.’

    All taxpayers pay 15 on dividend income, so it is available to anyone receiving dividends.  There is nothing unusual or tricky here.

    TA: ‘So, Mitt Romney is worth maybe a quarter billion dollars, considers $375,000 in speaking fees a pittance, parks millions in the Cayman Islands, and pays fifteen percent, maybe, on his income – while the average American living much lower on the totem pole pays 25 to 35 percent. Wow.’

    The ‘Wow’ is that he is mistaken.  The average American, if we measure by the middle quintile, actually pays about 15% on taxes as well since we have a progressive tax system low as 15% and many deductions and exemptions.

    As evidence, look at the CBO charts on this link and you will see as of 2006 the middle quintile is 14.2% (the Effective graph) — nowhere near the 25% or 35% figure that Ashbrook asserts.

    Further, almost all taxes are paid by the highest quintile.  Look at Share graph.  The highest quintile is paying more than 70% of all taxes. 

    http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/taxdistribution.cfmAlso, per this link: http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/top10-percent-income-earners, 49% of US households paid NO Federal income tax at all — certainly nowhere near 25 or 35%. 

    Also, per this link: http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/top10-percent-income-earners, 49% of US households paid NO Federal income tax at all — certainly nowhere near 25 or 35%. 

    These are the facts, yet we have misinformation not only throughout the discussion forum, but sadly, from the show’s host as well.

    • Anonymous

      And let me throw in an example regarding dividends and taxes. 

      Think if it this way for Joe and Bill:

      Joe is taxed at 35% on his income and pays $35k on his $100k income.Bill’s company is required by a special law to tax his income FIRST, before paying him and taxing him on what is left (actually kind of like payroll taxes, but bear with me).  

      So Bill earns the same $100k, but the company first pays 35% in Federal taxes, then pays Bill the a salary of $65k.  

      Note Bill earned $100k, but the law requires his company to pay 35% on Bill’s income before they can actually pay Bill.Under this special law, anyone impacted is given the Mitt Romney tax rate — only 15% on their income.  

      So Bill receives $65k of the $100k he actually was entitled to per his work, minus 15% tax, and nets about $56k for the year on his income of $100k.  

      That’s $56k rather than $65k, and it is double taxation. The special law in this illustration is in effect how the Federal govt treats dividend payments.  All of you on this blog posting negatively about Romney’s taxes, to be consistent, would similarly have to argue that Bill is being given a huge handout from the govt due to his low rate — and how unfair it is that he is taxed at just 15%, but as you can see, he is in fact paying more net taxes than Joe — who per the logic of most on this board is being mistreated.

    • Will H

      Yeah, those who are hit the hardest are the high wage earners–middle managers, professionals like doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, PhD’s who go through years of schooling.  This is showes that NO, hardwork does not come with massive riches, and YES, hardwork IS penalized in our current system. 

  • Sean from Vermont

    Sean from Vermont
    First and foremost no individual or entity should fork over more than a fifth of their earnings to the federal government. That being said with over 72,000 pages of an over convoluted tax code riddled with exceptions that nullify the higher marginal tax rates very few actually do pay those higher rates. For example even though we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world GE paid $0 in federal taxes due to loopholes. I say simplify the tax code retaining only those exceptions that apply to a majority of Americans, while lowering the rates of the highest brackets to a reasonably level which will actually be collected. Secondly income is income regardless of where it comes from. Tax it all at a flatter rate and give us a fair and consistent structure that business, corporations, and individuals can benefit from. These superficial quick fixes are taxing to say the least.

    • Fredlinskip

      Agree in sentiment with most of your post, butt…
      If people are concerned about our national debt and it’s consrequences, then more revenue is required- it’s not rocket science.
      Spending cuts may get us to a balanced budget and that’s a good thing, but it’s not going to pay down trillions in debt.
      In large way ” ship has already left the dock” in that large  nefarious interests have already gutted our nation’s national treasure and possession is 9/10 of the law.
      If we raise taxes on higher income brackets or close loopholes, the effect is the same.
      Part of the trouble we lived (live?) in a culture that glorified the practice of execs in corps making many hundreds of times what those that actually produced the good or service was as if this was a good thing.
      This has never been so out of balance (except maybe just before Great Depression).
      This business model can not be sustained without ruinous consequences to the economy.
      Consumer spending, in large part, drives economy
      And “Growing the pie” is not the answer.
      Without changing this model, the devastation will continue.
      Our gov is so broken (such as that majority in Senate no longer means a thing), so nothing will happen any time soon.
      Wealthy interests that have devastated American academy are laughing all the way to their banksters.

      • Fredlinskip

        American economy not “academy”.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Excellent post.  We need to reduce compliance costs.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Another thought.  The devils always in the details.

      Let’s look at the tax treatment of Muni bonds.  What would the impact be to local and state governments if they lose favorable tax treatment?

  • Anonymous

    oops

    What I meant to say is that I DO NOT AGREE that the surplus was created from tax increases in 1982 and 1991, along with Clinton’s. 

    slight difference there:)

  • John John

    Goodness Graious
    The liberals did this last election with GREEN..then we didnt hear a word about it for 3 years.
    Why are people even talking about this nonsense? Cant they see its a liberal devise to steer us normal people away from asking for a tax cut? 45 million dont even pay taxes–how is that fair?
    Its not about fairness…its about trying to get people mad at REPS because they want lower taxes for all–which equates to them wanting rich people to be slobs? How do the LIBS combat their immoral tax agenda? Get people mad at the Job creators?
    This is adds up to nothing. How about they cut spending and stop robing people to pay for their programs that do nothing?

  • Larry

    Do away with uneven taxation!

    The current tax system favors one group way over another.  That’s unfair.

    For example, two men go to work in a warehouse somewhere, menial work with menial pay.  Because they don’t earn much, they pay little or  no federal income tax (not payroll tax for SS and Medicare).  But when one lifts his head up and looks around and says “I want to earn more” things change.  This harder, smarter worker figures out how to earn more for himself and his family.  When he does, he starts to pay more and more toward federal income tax.

    The slacker is favored here.  He is given a 0% tax rate, while the smarter worker starts paying up to 35% taxes. 

    We all need to pay the same % to be fair.  Otherwise, when you raise your standard of living, you’ll be asked (forced) to pay for others’ lack of motivation, dedication and skill.

  • Randall_burns

    The only group that has increased their assets the last 30 years are the very rich. I doubt very much that has much to do with being “harders, smarter, workers”-and a lot more to do with specific tax policies that gave holders of existing wealth a huge windfall. Contrary to the claims of  U of Chicago professors, we did NOT see any trickle-down-instead we saw trickle up. McKinnon’s proposal simply recaptures some of that.

  • http://wealthtax.org/ Jim Bowden

    Please visit my wealthtax.org site for the complete picture.
    Jim Bowden
    j78b@comcast.net

  • Jst2803

    When a Farmer pays less income tax than a farmworker, or a Banker pays less income tax than a baker, it is time to introduce tax on visible wealth. If they refuse to pay, seize assets, after all, Bailiffs will go into a working class home and take away articles like televisions or furniture to settle a trifling debt. If Billionaires refuse to pay due bills I am sure their Diamond Tiaras and Ferraris would do just as nicely.
    Jim (Ecosse)

  • http://buysteroidsuk.co/ Buy Steroids

    all for it if its only the super roch who end up paying it.

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