Democrats & Liberals Archives

Fluffy Pillows

Lewis Lapham, the master of the bon mot, describes the actions of the current Republican administration as “plucking the feathers of the poor to fluff the pillows of the rich.” Worried about the coming election, though, House Republicans offered a teensie weensie poor-feather-plucking reduction by passing the so-called minimum wage bill that increases the minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour by 2009.

The price for this unexpected benevolence was a reduction in the estate tax and in some other taxes. After all, Congressmen needed to include something for the rich.

And lest the poor get the wrong idea, the House-passed bill does not allow employees who rely on tips to make more. As a matter of fact, they arranged it so that some tipped employees will actually earn less than they have been. You see, some states - my state of California is among them - require employers to pay full minimum wage regardless of whether their employees get tips or not. The bill Congress passed strikes down these state laws. We can't allow too much pampering of the poor.

According to the L.A. Times:

"That would mean, for example, that a waitress at a Hollywood restaurant who currently makes $6.75 an hour plus tips could see her hourly wage plummet to $2.13 an hour plus tips."

Lots of feathers left for plucking.

Now this monstrous bill is in the senate. Senator Frist is telling the Democrats that this is the last chance to get a minimum wage bill. Of course, Democrats will have to agree for a little something for Paris Hilton. And in case this is not sufficient inducement, a few "sweeteners," or special tax breaks, have been added to convince wavering Democrats.

Senator Dick Durbin expresses my outrage:

“In exchange for a raise of $2.10 an hour for the lowest-paid workers in America, we are being asked to add more than $750 billion to the national debt. And that is on top of the $30,000 debt that every American already owes as a result of our national debt – a debt that has exploded to $9 trillion under Republican rule. That will be the inheritance for the sons and daughters of middle-class Americans if we pass this bill: more debt for our children and grandchildren to pay off.”

I hope the bill does not pass. We need an increase in the minimum wage. It's time to assure that the poor have pillows to fluff. But we don't need all the tax cuts. The rich have exquisitely puffed pillows already.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 3, 2006 6:04 PM
Comments
Comment #173110

The last minimum wage increase didn’t destroy the economy so why all the fussin and fightin this time? If they would only adjust the minimum wage every year to keep up with inflation we wouldn’t need these big $2.10 increases every decade or so. Businesses wouldn’t complain so much about a $0.15 or so increase every year instead of an unexpected two dollar hike. They should just tie the minimum wage increases to yearly cost of living adjustments and be done with it once and for all!

Posted by: bushflipflops at August 3, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #173112

… And ironically, it’s the right who always accuses the left of waging a class war.

It’s a travesty. I agree; I hope the bill doesn’t pass now. Perhaps after November a saner bill can be passed.

Posted by: Trent at August 3, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #173115

The current minimum wage does not support an individual’s needs much less a family. I support the wage increase but not all the add-ons for the rich. That is the traversty. Waiters who rely on tips should be exempt from this altogether. The service industry is a totally different issue. There must be a totally separate scale for those in the hospitality/service industry. All together, the billshould not be passed.

Posted by: Ray Cole at August 3, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #173130

Republican hatred of the working class man continues to baffle me. (as I’ve stated before)
On top of this game of screwing the tip workers, they also have to contend with the most scrutiny by the IRS, while offshoring millionaires escape scott free.
I know waitresses that have been audited more than once over what amounts to PENNIES! They pay taxes on tips whether they get them or not.
This at a time when were creating a service worker economy and jettisoning manufacturing jobs by the tens of thousands.
Anyone else here completely disgusted by the current priorities of this country??

Posted by: Observer at August 3, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #173134

Minimum wage? The city council in Chicago recently passed an ordinance requiring Big Box retailers to pay a living wage, $10 an hour. The argument for it is that WalMart and Target have saturated the suburbs, and now their only chance for expansion is in the city, where they will be putting smaller establishments out of business, as usual.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 3, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #173135

To add insult to injury, this bill also contains more estate tax cuts for the wealthy, which directly transfers future tax burdens from the wealthy to the not wealthy. When the GOP giveth with one hand, one has to look very closely at what the other hand is doing. Minimum wage increase recipients will be handing the raise right back to the government in higher taxes so the wealthy can “fluff their pillows”.

I like that phrase, Paul.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 3, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #173139

For some reason I do not see any logic in cutting taxes for the superrich, those with the most money to pay taxes, while spending more on top of fighting two expensive wars. How wonderful to know that the republican party cares so much for me and the rest of the generation that will spend their money to pay for his and his parties stupidity.

Posted by: Silima at August 3, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #173143

When I was bartending making $2.13/hr, my paychecks were like a little bonus. $10-25 a check after insurance was taken out. When the premiums went up, I had to pay the restaurant every payday because my checks weren’t enough to cover insurance. Not only did the premiums go up, the co-pays did too. Eventually I had to drop coverage (so did several others) because bills/rent/food come first. I know what my priorities are, does this administration?

Posted by: MyPetGoat at August 3, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #173148

Paul,

This “minimum wage” proposal has one purpose and only one purpose: it’s a “tool” to use by the GOP so they can say, “look the Democrats voted against raising your wages”!

Anyone that thinks differently is either a Republican or just clueless.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 3, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #173156

Dems are the bane of the country

Posted by: oe at August 3, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #173159

From Walter Williams..

The idea that minimum wage legislation is an anti-poverty tool is simply sheer nonsense. Were it an anti-poverty weapon, we might save loads of foreign aid expenditures simply by advising legislators in the world’s poorest countries, such as Haiti, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, to legislate higher minimum wages. Even applied to the United States, there’s little evidence suggesting that increases in the minimum wage help the poor.


Plus, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2.2 percent of working adults earn the minimum wage.

You can read the whole argument here

Posted by: JimmyRay at August 3, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #173161

My kid had a job at McD’s that paid $6.50/ hr to start. That was 5 years ago. In a small rural town. The minimum wage is only paid to a small minority (see post above by JimmyRay), so why is it such a hot button issue? Because the Dems want to bellyache that the republicans are making the poor poorer and the rich richer. Bull. Just another non-issue to fool JohnQ into voting for them. I never did get why the family of someone who dies should have to pay taxes on money that has already been taxed while the poor slob was alive. Another Dem tax and spend idea. Dumb.

Posted by: MWF/CCR at August 3, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #173166

MWF/CCR:

The government taxes the RECIPIENT of the money, just the way they tax the money received in wages. What’s so hard to understand about that?

Posted by: womanmarine at August 3, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #173168

Geech, ya’ll bitch that we need raise in the mimium wage then bitch when it happens. Aren’t ya’ll ever happy? Or is that illegal for liberals?

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 3, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #173174

“…ya’ll bitch that we need raise in the mimium wage then bitch when it happens”

Wait until the bitching takes the form of an armed uprising. Wait until the vast majority of low-wage workers, some of them working two and three jobs to make ends meet, decide that they’ve had enough, and the very fabric of society starts to tear, and the meaning of law and order is seen as a convenience to keep the rich filthy rich and the poor out of sight.

And then conservatives wonder why nobody believes in laws and moral authority any more.

You’d better start building some more prisons, Ron, because the workers and the working poor have had about enough.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 4, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #173176

I tried to live on minimun wage, in 2000. I couldn’t even support myself, let alone a family. I was just grateful that I didn’t get sick or need to see a doctor, or have my car break down

Jack, where are you - I’m sure you can explain how one can save $5000,invest and get rich…while trying to live on any amount of minimum wage.

Posted by: Linda H. at August 4, 2006 1:07 AM
Comment #173180

“The government taxes the RECIPIENT of the money, just the way they tax the money received in wages. What’s so hard to understand about that?”

BECAUSE IT HAS ALREADY BEEN TAXED WHEN IT WAS WAGES THE FIRST TIME!! What’s so hard to understand about that?? It is a double tax on the same money!!!

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 4, 2006 1:53 AM
Comment #173182

I just don’t understand the thinking of anyone who would be against the idea of raising the minimum wage to a “living wage” in this country. What is your problem? Do you want to go back to slavery in this country? Do you want to see workers in shacks and being beaten by their employers? What is really wrong with you people?

Do you really think that the minimum wage is comming out of your pocket, personally? If an employer can not pay a living wage? What makes you think that that company or business deserves to be in business, anyhow? Why should any company, profit to the tune of millions or billions of dollars, while their employees can not aford health care? That’s not “the American way”, that’s just plain greed!

This just completely baffels me. It’s probably some of the most hateful politics that I have ever seen in my life. (And, I’ve lived through 11 Administrations). The Rep’s talk about the lazy welfare recipient, and then aids businesses in keeping wages down to a level where the poor have no choice but to hold down 2-3 jobs or work full time, AND collect welfare to survive.

AMERICA! (What a pisser)

Don’t you know that a country is judged on how it treats it’s poor, elderly and helpless victims in society. On a scale of 1-10….we are about a 3 now!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 2:12 AM
Comment #173184

Just so we’re clear here, I support a repeal of the estate tax. However, while I am a conservative and registered Republican, I have never agreed with the practice of paying service people less than minimum wage and them having to make it up in tips. That’s why I have always tipped my waiters/waitresses far in excess of the recommendeded amount for good service.

Tips, or gratuities as they should more properly be referred to, are by their very nature supposed to be EXTRA…over and above the wage!! Any service person should be making federal or state minimum wage AS WELL as their tips!!! Tips are given in recognition of exemplary service…
the better a waiter or waitress does his or her job, the better a tip they can expect. I also do not think that tips should be taxable. They are not wages…they are a bonus…an expression of appreciation from the recipient of the service to the server for being good at their jobs.

With the exception of the occasional cheapskate (or person who simply can’t afford more at that particular time…I have been there) the lack of a substantial tip after service is also a “red flag” to the service person that their service was poor, and serves as an indicator that they should do better. When I have been short on cash, I have even gone back at a later time and given the person a tip to make up for the lack of one at the time of service.

But by the same token, I also disagree with the practice of adding the gratuity to a bill automatically…again, because they are extras and should be given by choice for exemplary service. They should not be “required”, which is what the practice of adding them on automatically does. Even if the service person only gets paid sub-minimum wages, the tips should be voluntary. A good waitress or waiter, bellhop, hairdresser or barber, won’t have to worry about making money. They might occasionally get stiffed, but by and large 99% of customers tip generously when they receive good service. I know I do.

For the record, I have worked in jobs where I received tips.

So you see, not all Republicans are greedy jerks trying to screw the little guy (besides, I am also the little guy…far from what anyone would call rich).

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 4, 2006 2:16 AM
Comment #173185

David R,

when you got your pay check and you pay taxes on what you make, then you buy a car,,,,you pay taxes on what you buy. Why? A stick of gum, a new house, a new T.V. more taxes. You earn money and got to dinner, you tip the waitress, she pays taxes on your money. Why not? It’s now her income. She buys some flowers at a flower shop for her sister, more taxes. The flowershop owner pays their employee off that flower sale, more taxes.


SO WHAT SHOULD THE PERSON THAT RECIEVES OVER A $600,000.00 GIFT BE EXEMPT FROM PAYING TAXES???

YOU EXPECTING TO RECEIVE THAT MUCH SOME DAY???

And, if you do, shut up and pay the taxes!!!!!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #173186

How quaint that CAPITALISM magazine points out that ‘only’ 2.2% of working adults get paid minimum wage. Would it sound a little more disturbing to say that OVER TWO MILLION AMERICAN WORKING ADULTS GET PAID MINIMUM WAGE? I don’t know where YOU live, but 2 million Americans is four times the population of my home town, Milwaukee.

Interesting that for 10 years, neo-con has thwarted attempts to raise the minimum wage with the threatened death knell to countless small businesses. I guess now that they have an opportunity to give Paris Hilton a tax cut, it’s SCREW THE SMALL BUSINESSES, WE’RE RAISING MINIMUM WAGES.

Well here’s what I hope. I hope that all you people hoping this idiotic tax break for the super rich doesn’t pass the senate don’t rest on your hopes. Let you senators KNOW how you feel about it. If they don’t hear from you, they might think it’s all right with you!!!

Posted by: Thom Houts at August 4, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #173197

MWF/CCR-

Help me to understand your position here because I’m honestly curious to know how anyone could possibly believe that estate tax elimination will help anyone but the super rich to become richer over the generations. The government taxes money any time it is transfered with very few exceptions. Why should we make an exception for super rich kids who inherit their parents’ fortunes without working a day in their lives? What possible public interest does that serve other than making certain the rich get richer over time?

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 4, 2006 3:43 AM
Comment #173213

DaveR, your opposition to double taxation if it were to rule, would immediately bankrupt the nation. Think about it.

Income tax equals paid tax once.
Everything you buy with few exceptions also is taxed when you buy it. Double taxation has been with us every since the Federal Income tax was created on top of state taxes, sales, income or otherwise.

If you think a society of 300 million people can function without both federal and state governments (which means double taxation) then, you are just plain wrong. And if you agree that our society must have a federal and state governments both taxing citizens, then you cannot be opposed to double taxation on grounds of pure princple.

Logically, your argument makes no sense unless you are an anarchist.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 4, 2006 7:20 AM
Comment #173214

A bill combining an estate tax cut with a boost in the federal minimum wage, an election-year combination engineered by Republicans, may see another vote this fall.

The Bill died, as it should have, due to both fiscal conservatives and Democrats objecting to the estate tax cuts at a time of record deficits adding to the national debt growth. There were also Republicans who voted against the minimum wage increase. But the Estate tax provision was the poison pill deliberately added by Republicans to insure that the minimum wage increase would not happen. Their corporate and business contributors pitched a bitch and for Republicans, when money talks, they are all ears.

This poison pilling legislation by turning them into multiple or omnibus bills is seriously damaging our nation’s future due to inaction on our major pressing problems. Just one more reason to vote out incumbents and convince them that we voters are going to hold them accountable for a change.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 4, 2006 7:29 AM
Comment #173218

I worked for minimum wage back during college… actually during the 2 years when I dropped out. I was excited about getting back into college, but since I was on my own I need some assistance to get back in. They did not believe I was on my own because my income was not enough to support myself, so they suspected I was still being supported by my parent.

I had been away from my parent for 2 years… and since I lived in a dump and worked at a restaurant where I got free dinners, I could actually live on $6500 per year.

I worked with several “heads of households” who made the same as I did. Anyone care to explain how mothers and/or fathers attempt to raise a family on $10,700 per year?

and here’s the real crux of this argument… many adults who can function on their own have very minimal skills. Some made bad choices, some had no choices, but for whatever the reason, they will continue to live at or near the minimum wage. Anytime we allow people of government assistance to make the same as a fulltime job, we will always have a large enrollment in government assistance. Anytime we have people working fulltime jobs who still government assitance… we will continue to have a class of people dependant on the government.

Should we recognize these people for what they are doing - working and trying to make it on their own? Shouldn’t we encourage positive actions (fulltime work) with a the financial reward of not being in poverty?

Posted by: tony at August 4, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #173221

Thanks the gods that the “Trifecta” bill did not pass last night. It was a bad bill.

The minimum wage needs to be increased. With the retaking of the House by a Democratic majority in the next congress appearing likely, the minimum wage increase should be THE first priority. And it will be a far superior bill, without the immoral reduction of taxes for the greedy on money they have not earned.

I have a economics professor who suggests the minimum wage should be set at 2x the current Federal poverty level (about $19,000/2080=$9.13) and increased annually to reflect the increase in the cost of living as done with Social Security. This would be sound fiscal, economic, and moral policy. He persuasively argues the minimum wage is an issue that is and should be argued as a moral/justice issue. Unfortuantely, it is unlikely the so-called Christians of the GOP will be interested in this moral issue as they really have no interest in asking WWJD?… they know they won’t like the answer.

Posted by: Allen at August 4, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #173247

Allen,

WWJD?
#1 - He would not get involved in politics.
#2 - He would make a difference in peoples lives wherever He was.
#3 - He would encourage others to do the same.
#4 - He would not give money or assistance to those people who are lazy. (He would encourage/exhort them however.)

I am a Christian and a republican. I am very involved with my time and treasure to help the poor and destitute. It is the right thing to do…

Posted by: Cliff at August 4, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #173251

“Can I have any repub. tell me in this time of the so called “war on terror” on multiple fronts why the estate tax needs to be cut”

Taxes should be fair and equal.
Besides, I thought the “war on terror” was just an excuse for Bush, Cheney and Rove to take over the world.

“If anything, whether you like the tax or not, that money is needed in our current debt ridden state right now. Can any repub. refute that?”

Nope! Its your opinion and you are entitled to it.
We are “debt ridden” but we are also over taxed. I’d love for both issues to be resolved.

“when they try to eliminate that tax when in reality we really shouldn’t be eliminating a tax that would bring much needed $$ from those who can afford it most.”

Why do you feel like you have the right to tell other people what they can and cannot afford?

“I recommend that repub. change their party name to the a**holes..”

They might as well, at least that way we would see that there really is no difference between them and the Dems.
Elitist Dem a-holes and Rep a-holes are all still a-holes.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #173256

Cliff:

Unfortunately, your #1 and #4 have no basis in the Gospel. In fact, they are directly contrary to the Gospel. Thomas Aquinas made that abundantly clear 500 years ago in his Summa.

Additionally, you should tell your fellow repug-nuts to keep their religion out of politics. And you might inform them there is nothing Christ-like about that religion.

Kudos to you for your contributions of time and treasure. I just hope you are doing it accordance with Gospel exhortation and not according to your #4. Unfortunately, your #4 suggests a common fallacy held by repug-nuts: poor=lazy. When we talk about the minimum wage, we are talking about people who are working themselves to death and still not making a living wage while the wealthy live off them like the greedy parasites they are.

Posted by: Allen at August 4, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #173259

kctim, here are a few facts from David Cay Johnston to support your comments.

1) The off shore accounts now hold about 1 trillion U.S. dollars owned by Americans which cheat the federal government (we the tax payers) out 70 Billion dollars a year in tax revenues.

2) Our current tax system even before Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, is so full of loopholes legal and illegal that billionaires pay 50 million to tax shelter 300 million through shelter boutiques to defer taxes for up to 30 years. By investing the money they would have paid in taxes for 30 years, they earn the tax amount and the shelter fee back 3 to 10 fold. Then in 30 years, if they still have to pay the tax, they are 3 to 10 times better off for deferring it, while paycheck earners by law have their taxes taken BEFORE they even receive their income, subsidizing the tax deferrals for the mult-million and billionaires. No chance for the working class to defer and invest.

3) Lastly, if the estate tax is eliminated in 2010, if Bill Gates dies one day later, all his billions in stock will transfer as inheritance without ever being taxed EVER!!!! Remember, one does not pay tax on investments until one sells them. Inheriting stock is not selling stock. And the inheritors can live off loans against the stock value and the dividends and continue to never pay tax on the inheritance.

One of the great damages taking place against the middle class is this ability of corporations and super wealthy to evade, defer, and now escape ever paying taxes on their investment growth instruments and off-shore accounts. Cayman Islands now even provide ATM cards on the accounts that are not traceable, meaning Americans can spend that money if off shore accounts without any paper trail capable of being followed.

And with Chinese stocks becoming ever more attractive and lucrative, stock swap deals with Chinese corporations will permit 100’s of billions of American investements to go to China with returns, dividends, and even sale of stock proceeds in China routed to off shore accounts or other international investment vehicles in countries with tax safe haven shelters out of reach of our IRS.

We have two separate and unequal tax systems in America. One for working folks where the Government takes their taxes owed before the earner ever sees it. And the other for businesses, corporations, and wealthy investors where paying taxes is entirely on the honor system with Congress protecting them by allowing them to choose whether to be honest and pay, or defer or offshore and not pay, without the government ever intervening except when honest corporations, investors, and business choose to report instead of defer and dodge.

This is not an accident. It is by design. Money pays for campaigns of politicians and the wealthy know a good investment when they see a politician.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 4, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #173267

his “minimum wage” proposal has one purpose and only one purpose: it’s a “tool” to use by the GOP so they can say, “look the Democrats voted against raising your wages”!

Anyone that thinks differently is either a Republican or just clueless.

Absolutely spot on! There is no doubt in my mind the only reason this was even offered up was so the Dems would be forced to vote against it.

But I think it was a very, very bad idea that they killed it. The thing is, anyone worth $5 million is going to find a way to avoid the taxed anyway. They’re going to gift their estates before they die, they’re going to hide assests off shore, they’re going to find the best accountants and have lots of help avoiding paying any taxes. The defeat of this bill will not stop that.

What it did was hurt the Dems. Why? Because the folks living on these small wages aren’t going to care about that estate tax cut (they know rich people find ways around that anyway) they’re going to care about their paycheck. They’re going to care that once again they have to decide between paying the gas bill or buying little Johnny’s school clothes.

This was worthless grandstanding by both sides. Of course, now the Repubs can wield this as a weapon in November and the people serving fries at McDonald’s are going to hear what they have to say and get out to vote. Why? Because they’re sick of working 2 or 3 jobs just to pay the rent. They’re going to remember that the Senate never fails to pass pay raises for themselves. Yet, the minimum wage is still ridiculous.

Oh, and I was, before I married 3 years ago, working for this piss ant amount of change to support my child and myself. Most of my friends are still struggling. They’ll not forget in November.

Posted by: Gratis at August 4, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #173270

Alot of good information David, thanks. Especially useful for when I’m dreaming of winning the lottery and thinking of how to keep my money from being stolen.

Whether I look at it like success is punished or you look at it like the rich doesn’t pay enough, it still comes to the same result: “We have two separate and unequal tax systems in America” and that is not fair.
That is also why we need to treat every American as equals and tax everybody the same. The lower the better.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #173274

Cliff Aug 4th at 9:46AM wrote:

” WWJD?
#1 - He would not get involved in politics.

That’s a lie. (He just wouldn’t get involved in politics like the repug’s Christians do, in the same mannor, or in the same spirit. He’d help mankind, not hurt it). There are many instances where Jesus got involved in politics.

A) Politics against the Church:
Jesus overturned the tables of the “money lenders”, in the Church. Jesus saw the unjustness of people making a living off of the rich who could afford buying atonement, while the poor must make atonement upon their own devise. How much God loves the poor more than the rich is defined in the parable about the “eye of the needle”.

B) Jesus also had pity on the poor, more so than the Church of his day. Whereas the Chruch had no pity on the poor or sick saying, “There is a leaper, he is full of sickness and unclean, therefore because of his sin, and thou shalt not touch him”. Jesus did take pity on the poor and the sick and saw not the sin but the sickness and they were healed. For Jesus said unto the whore (adulterous), “Woman, where are they judges….then neither do I judge thee, go and sin no more”.

C) When asked about taxes, Jesus said, “Give unto Ceaser what is Ceaser’s and unto God, what is God’s”. And the Book says, “…shall a man rob God? God Forbid”. Just as it is right for the Church to ask for tithes to support Church work, so therefore is it just for the State to ask for taxes to support The State’s work. If a man should not “rob God”, then in Jesus’s own words, neither should a man rob the State, (nor his neighbors, nor the poor).


Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #173275

kctim, but, you really haven’t thought through a flat income tax, have you? A flat tax does absolutely nothing to address the the deferral of income by corporations, businesses and investors and their current methods of virtually avoiding tax altogether. Having a flat rate does nothing to address the current seperate but unequal tax systems. If it is a flat income tax, the government will still take from wage earners before they ever receive it, and corporations, investors, and businesses will still have their off shore and deferral methods of avoiding taxes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 4, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #173277

gratis said: “Because the folks living on these small wages aren’t going to care about that estate tax cut”

But they should. Because reduction in the estate tax means their minimum wage increase would have to be at least partially paid back to the government to make up the taxes the wealthy no longer have to pay. Remember we have more than 1 billion a day going out in interest on our national debt and the national debt will be 11 trillion in just two more years. The money has to come from somewhere, if the wealthy, then everyone else will have to pony it up including those with minimum wage hikes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 4, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #173278

Continued….

(sorry, “C)” should have been titiled:

Politics against the State:

sorry :o(

Cliff also wrote:

#4 - He would not give money or assistance to those people who are lazy.

Another lie. (Big time LIE).

A) Jesus gave to everyone equally. He healed the sick and it didn’t matter if the sick were wealthy or poor. Jesus made NO distinction at all. He did not just give to those who were “deserving”, but to everyone. When someone stole a cloke Jesus said, “give unto him your coat also, … for it is better to give, than to receive”.

B) Jesus made no judgement as to who was deserving and who was not. The adulterous deserved to be stoned according to “The Law”, but Jesus judged her not! The leaper deserved God’s wrath, according to the “Church”, (sound familiar?), but Jesus judged him not! The leaper was healed. Jesus instructed, “Judge not others, lest ye be judged, like-wise”. And, “Do not worry over the splinter in your neighbors eye, but that ye first cast out the stone from your own eye”.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #173281

As to Cliff’s 2 and 3:

WWJD?
#2 - He would make a difference in peoples lives wherever He was.
#3 - He would encourage others to do the same.

This is true. Jesus made a difference in peoples lives because he touched peoples hearts. Todays Christian Church is cold, it is cold hearted towards peoples hearts, and has hardened it’s parishiners hearts against the poor, the elderly, the sick and the infermed.

Yes, Jesus would incourage others to do as he did. He cared for the sick and the poor and the outcasts of life. He brought hope to the weakest of our society. He encouraged everyone to be concerned about everyone elses welfare. If you are rich, then you are poor because you allow the poor in this world to starve. If you are poor in this world then you are twice cursed. You are not only ground under by your government who has brought about your condition by their favoritism to the rich; but you are abondoned and cast as a “sinner” by the very Church of Christ who should be your support, rather than your pursecutor.

If you are rich in this world then you are twice blessed. You have special favor’s because of the government that protects you, and you are blessed by Christ’s Church who supports your “goodness”.

WWJD? (as to the so called “Christian Church”?)

Matthew:

“For many shall come (to me - Jesus) in that day saying, “Lord, Lord” have we not done many wonderous things in YOUR name. And, I shall say, “Get thee behind me, for I have never known you”. … For surely it shall fair better for Sodom and Gamorah in that day, than it will for thee”.


Sorry for this post, but I will not, and can not, let blasphemy stand.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #173286

David
Yes, I have thought about it and as long as it is in accordance with the Constitution, it is the ONLY tax that is fair to all Americans.
As far as corporations and businesses, the govt should be able to up with a fair way to tax them and an effective way to monitor them.
By taking away the need and desire of the individual taxpayers to find loopholes, the govt could put more effort on keeping tabs on corps and businesses.

By treating every American equal, REAL “taxcuts for the rich” would be obvious to all Americans and would not be put up with.
With the way it is now, it is nothing but a political tool used to promote inequality, punish success, steal from that success and create class warfare in order to get votes.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #173287

In conclusion:

It is the people working at “Mickey D’s” that are paying 2 billion a week for this “war”, not the decendants of Hallaburton or Enron or Microsoft, that’s for sure. They are paying for this war with their blood, sweat and tears just as much as your young people over there who are fighting and dying day after day for:

BUSHE’S WAR (Bushe’s war, on society as a whole! Because American is paying, because the poor and middle class in America is paying, and so are the people of Iraq.)

I suppose that Bush must thank “His” God, everyday, for Republicians like you, Cliff.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #173292

Allen,

Unfortunately, religion and politics are directly related, always have been. Jesus did not like it.
Your religion (or belief system, which may have nothing to do with GOD) dictates the way you think and you wish to influence the political landscape accordingly. You are entitled to that, as am I.

I never said that poor=lazy, you did…

There are however, lazy people who are poor, because they are lazy. II Thes 3:10 says “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” There are those who truly need help and they should get it.
Do you have a biblical basis that states we should help the lazy?

Playnice,

The example of Jesus getting angry inside the temple had nothing to do with the politics of the day, but the extortion of others from within the Jewish faith.

God does not love anyone more then anyone else. Are you saying that God plays favorites? I believe He wants people (us) to watch over and help the sick and the poor. (see above)

As far as B & C…I agree…(not sure of the relevance though)

About B, the important part of this story was the exhortation by Jesus in my paraphrase “Don’t do it again”.

Posted by: Cliff at August 4, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #173294

Playnice, (oxymoron?)

If you like the idea of redistrution of wealth, that’s OK with me.

The world will never “play nice”…

Posted by: Cliff at August 4, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #173297

Uh, Cliff, its the “redistribution of OTHER PEOPLES wealth” that they like.
Using their own money to support what they “say” they believe in, never crosses their mind.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #173301

Cliff;

Redistribution of wealth? Redistribution of wealth? you have to be kidding!!!

By putting the minimum wage increase in with another tax cut for the wealthy, it’s the Republicians that are “redistributing” the wealth of this country. It’s the very opposite of the Robin Hood Theory.

The Republicians are “Re-distributing” the wealth of this country! They are takeing from the poor (who can not afford the price of this “Untax and Spend” program - ie, the war), and giving more tax breaks to the very rich.

This is insanity. It’s insanity on so many fronts, political, social, biblical. It’s fisically irresponsible, and it’s looney-toons.

But, what else can we expect from a president that can’t even talk english? I can understand why Bush thinks that this is a “good idea”. I just don’t understand Republicians, that go along with it. And when someone goes along with it on “religious grounds”, THAT’S THE WORST!

It’s just mind-boggleing!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #173304

Kctim,

So, you plan on inheriting over $600,000.00 in the near future?

Why should someone at Mc Donalds, who works full time and still lives in poverty, have to skip child care, and take the bus to work (or walk to work), so that you don’t have to pay your fair share of taxes???

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #173305

Cliff:

Your point #4 makes it very clear: poor=lazy UNLESS you are suggesting we should quit giving “welfare” to the wealthy; however, since the topic is the poor, I doubt you mean the latter… that is exactly what cutting or repealing the estate tax is: giving welfare to the lazy… Warren Buffett understands this and has pointedly opposed any such welfare… in fact, he is doing exactly what a Christian ethic demands: giving to the poor rather than allowing his heirs to be lazy, non-working slobs….

I can’t recall where I read this… however, it makes moral and economic sense: a tax system which does not tax the first $50,000 of earned (meaning, wages) + unearned income, taxes “earned” $50,000.01 to $200,000 at 50% and all “earned” income above $200,000 at 75%… all unearned income above $50,000 would be taxed at 75%…

Posted by: Allen at August 4, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #173306

kctim, well if treating every American equal is your goal, then you have to be in favor of all corporate, business, and investor earnings being sent directly to the US Government BEFORE the corporation, business, or investor gets their hands on it. For then it would be equal to wage earners who are forced to pay their tax before they ever see their paycheck.

My opinion is, yours hasn’t been thought out to its logical conclusions. You get the government to close the corporate, business, and investor loopholes FIRST!, then I will consider a flat tax and doing away with the estate taxes. Until then, the estate tax is the only way many wealthy individuals and corporations and businesses are ever going to pay taxes on their wealth.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 4, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #173308

Cliff;
“The world will never “play nice”…”

Your right. As long as there are people like you in charge…The world will never, “Play-Nice”.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #173309

PN
“So, you plan on inheriting over $600,000.00 in the near future?”

No, the only thing I plan on inheriting is the funeral costs of my parents and in-laws.

“Why should someone at Mc Donalds, who works full time and still lives in poverty, have to skip child care, and take the bus to work (or walk to work), so that you don’t have to pay your fair share of taxes???”

Because your “fair share” and mine differ.
You believe others should pay for what you think is right and I believe individual choices based on beliefs should be left up to the individuals, not the govt.

Also, why do you care so much about my money and how I use it? Should you not be more concerned with your own money and how you DON’T use it to support what you “say” you care about?

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #173313

kctim;
“You believe others should pay for what you think is right and I believe individual choices based on beliefs should be left up to the individuals, not the govt.”

Oh, so the individual should dictate what he/she believes is what is to be taxed and what is not taxed? Then I vote for no tax on people makeing under 6 figuers per year. Hey, my choice.!

And, I also choose that people that make over 97% of the money in this country, pay 97% of the taxes, too! (Instead of 97% of people that have the money only paying 3% tax, and people that are now earning 3%, paying 97% of the taxes, that support this country).

“Also, why do you care so much about my money and how I use it? Should you not be more concerned with your own money and how you DON’T use it to support what you “say” you care about?”

It’s not your money I care about, if you were paying your fair share. It’s my money that’s paying for you, because if you are earning big money and not paying your fair share, I HAVE TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE! It’s you not paying your fair share, that I’m concerned about. It places an undue burdon on me.

It’s also how that Republician party is creating a situation in this country that is apporant. It’s getting rid of the middle class, so that there is no distinction of from the rich and poor in this country. When you have a two class country, you are creating a big problem. The “Have’s” and the “Have-Not’s”.

NOT THAT’S REALLY A COMMUNIST MANAFESTO HERE, NOT THE DEMOCRATIC OR LIBERAL PLATFORM, OR POSSITION, (as we have been accused of many a time, by you repub’s)!!!

That’s the difference between the two.

America, you choose next November. A two class America, with the very rich and the rest of us paying the price. Or a system that is more fair, to ALL AMERICANS!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #173316

kctim:

“Also, why do you care so much about my money and how I use it? Should you not be more concerned with your own money and how you DON’T use it to support what you “say” you care about?”

First, it is not your money or my money. Money is held in trust by individuals (you & me)… Money, belongs to the economy, i.e., the broader society. Hence, we are called to be good stewards of that money to which we hold trust NOT for our individual benefit but, rather, the benefit of the whole society.

Second, when the wealthy do not pay their share of taxes and the government is running in the red up to its eyeballs, the poor and middle class pay through high costs of living in both the short and long terms… especially higher interests rates….

Third, when any member of a society suffers poverty, it costs each member of that society morally and economically.

Posted by: Allen at August 4, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #173319

Allen,

Very good post. Tax money is in “the public trust”, it is to be used to “insure the public good”, not saved for the benifit of the wealthest in our society.

Any society that has to survive on the backs of it’s poor and it’s middle class for long?

Won’t and shouldn’t be … around for long.

Thank you for your post!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #173320

PN,

I have made no derogatory comments to you, yet you insist on twisting my words into your own philosophy of what you think I stand for.

Tell me again how much money the poor are paying to support this country?

Please read my post…don’t read into it…
Thank you..

Since when has the world ever “played-nice”?
Do you really think that things were “nice” prior to 2001? How myopic…

Posted by: Cliff at August 4, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #173323

Tim Crow, Linda H., Play Nice, and Allen, YAHOO!

MyPetGoat, womanmarine, Kevin23 , Thom Houts, and dee, Please write here more often.

KansasDem and David R. Remer thanks, as always for your insightful contributions.

We have to get at those offshore accounts, they are all fake anyway, right? Nobody is really doing any business in the Cayman Islands. Years ago, when Brunswick acquired Gibson guitar in Nashville, they expected me to send bills first to the Bahamas, and then to Panama City, Panama for payment. I told them I was conducting business in Chicago, and continued to send the bills here.

Later this afternoon, I will be going to a store where an employee once won a role on Will and Grace, oddly enough, in a suburb in Mark Kirk Rpblcn land. I almost live in his district now. I got scared when I looked at the district map and had to check my new voter registration card, which I got when changing the address on my drivers license, but I am still in Jan Schakowskys district, thank you. This store has a larger number of employees than you would think for its size. Many have little to do, and all are recent immigrants. I wonder what wage they are being paid to stand around waiting for someone to tell them what to do? Living wage, I doubt it, minimum wage, I doubt that too.

A living wage is what is needed, $10 an hour plus benefits. I tried looking up stories on the Chicago Big Box ordinance, and even Yahoo and CNN talk on the Rpblcn side way too much, corporate sellouts.

And WWJD? He would tell you that he was a disciple of Buddhism, that his friends and relations got it all wrong, and that 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. Sorry for the B word book reference.

And we ARE giving welfare to the wealthy; see David R Remer’s post about that. The poor only get public assistance, and have to do community service for it if they are not elderly or disabled.

And I apologize for not using apostophes and quotiation marks, but they are the most font sensitive and usually come up as gibberish at this end.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 4, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #173324

Whats it called when you pay taxes on your tax return from the previous year? Is that double taxing your income? Do the wealthy pay taxes like that?

Posted by: chris at August 4, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #173325

Dee
“Taxes should be fair and equal means what exactly? Someone who makes 30K a year should be taxed the same amount as someone who makes 500K a year? That would be fair and equal in your mind?”

The same percentage should be all that is asked from both individuals.

“Fairness is taxing the people who can afford it most more than those who can’t.”

Nope. Fairness would be taxing everybody the same. As each person see’s things differently, sympathy is not a valid reason to base taxes on.

“In a money driven society why do the rich need tax cuts?”

In an equal society, they would not need nor ask for tax cuts.

“They already have it the easiest. I’m not telling you what you can or cannot afford. Maybe you won’t be able to afford that 5th home because of an increase in the estate tax. Boo Hoo. I have no pity for you.”

Ah yes, envy. Also not a valid reason to tax people unfairly.

“There are differences, many, between dems and repubs. a different mentality, a different motivation, different values and ideals,”

Big diffs when it comes to taxes. Dems say they care about the poor but won’t use their own resources to help them.

“but I agree an a**hole is an a**hole regardless of party affiliation. There just seems to be a myriad more a**hole republicans.
that is all kctim”

And there seems to be more a-hole liberals to me, but where does that get us? Nowhere.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #173327

PN
“Oh, so the individual should dictate what he/she believes is what is to be taxed and what is not taxed?

Uh, no. The Constitution has determined what should be taxed. Everything else would be left up to the individual.

“It’s not your money I care about, if you were paying your fair share.”

Again, your idea of fair share and mine are different.

“It’s my money that’s paying for you, because if you are earning big money and not paying your fair share, I HAVE TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE! It’s you not paying your fair share, that I’m concerned about. It places an undue burdon on me.”

If I earn $100,000 grand a month and pay 10% on it each month, I contribute $10,000 a month to the tax fund and if you earn $1,000 a month at 10%, you contribute $100.
Both are taxed as equals but the one “earning big money” pays 9900 more a month in taxes. How is he not paying his fair share?

“NOT THAT’S REALLY A COMMUNIST MANAFESTO HERE, NOT THE DEMOCRATIC OR LIBERAL PLATFORM, OR POSSITION, (as we have been accused of many a time, by you repub’s)!!!

That’s the difference between the two.”

No its not because BOTH sides are guilty.

“America, you choose next November. A two class America, with the very rich and the rest of us paying the price. Or a system that is more fair, to ALL AMERICANS!”

And by more fair you mean a system which is ran in accordance with what you believe, rather than what the Constitution says.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #173330

Allen
“First, it is not your money or my money. Money is held in trust by individuals (you & me)… Money, belongs to the economy, i.e., the broader society.”

Money is earned by individuals and by earning it, it is theirs to use as they wish. I’m not sure, but it has something to do with that silly thing called freedom.

“Hence, we are called to be good stewards of that money to which we hold trust NOT for our individual benefit but, rather, the benefit of the whole society.”

Money earned by an individual first must benefit that individual or he will not try to earn it. Using his money to benefit society is a choice which he alone should be able to make.

“Second, when the wealthy do not pay their share of taxes and the government is running in the red up to its eyeballs, the poor and middle class pay through high costs of living in both the short and long terms… especially higher interests rates….”

A wealthy person pays more in taxes than someone who is not wealthy. They DO pay their fair share. It is govts job to only spend what they take in and massive cuts in spending should come before ANY tax increase.

“Third, when any member of a society suffers poverty, it costs each member of that society morally and economically.”

First, we should not legislate morality. Second, it can be argued that feel-good give aways only promote a welfare state.

Charity should be an individual choice. The biggest problem people have with it being an individual choice is that those who “say” they really care would then be forced to support it themselves rather than forcing and extorting others to do it for them.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #173336

kctim:

I realize repug-nuts abhor education and you have just proven the point. Try taking a basic course in economics instead of repeating repug-nuts talking points. Money has no meaning, no value, and no function except as a part of an economy. There is no such thing as an economy of one individual. It’s elementary economics regardless of what economics system one may advocate. The old adage, “you can’t take it with you,” is applicable here. You can’t own what you can’t take with you. Some may be born into wealth (GHWB’s “silver spoon’); however, we all die into poverty (current value of the body: about $3.42).

When you speak of the government, you seem to forget that the government is us. It is not an independent entity.

A wealthy person is wealthy because they have exploited their society. Taxation merely returns ill-gotten and ill-used gains to the aggrieved, the society/economy as a whole.

Posted by: Allen at August 4, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #173337

This has been a great topic. Never before has the hypocritical natural of repug-nuts be so well demonstrated. The clearly unchristian nature of the GOP is here for all to see.

Posted by: Allen at August 4, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #173360

Amen!
Allen

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #173361

a person making a non-living wage income will inevitably draw assistance from the state, and doing so will pass their burdens on to the people who do make those wages by using more of their tax dollars. I’d say its cheaper as a whole to pay living wages than to continue to force these people to live on goverment assistance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 4, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #173366

Cliff wrote:

PN, “I have made no derogatory comments to you, yet you insist on twisting my words into your own philosophy of what you think I stand for.”

Cliff, I have not twisted your words, as a matter of fact I copy and paste your exact words, from your post into a blank email, and I respond appropriately.

Cliff wrote:

PN, “Tell me again how much money the poor are paying to support this country?”

Cliff, The poor and the middle class in this country are paying 97% of the taxes that run this country. The rich, who earn 97% of the money in this country, (have 97% of this country’s wealth) pay only 3% of the tax liability. (This is not up for debate, it is a fact, you don’t have to believe it, but it is a fact, never-the-less.)

Cliff wrote:

PN, “Please read my post…don’t read into it…
Thank you..”

Cliff, I have read every one of your posts and I’ve read nothing “into-them”. I have quoted you word for word. And, let your words speak for themselves.

Cliff wrote:

PN, “Since when has the world ever “played-nice”?
Do you really think that things were “nice” prior to 2001? How myopic…”

Cliff;

Well, from 1992-2000 for 8 years in all that time from 1980 untill now, there was Democratic representation in the White House. Congress became owned by the Republicians in 1994. In spite of that progress in the infrastructure is this country is self evident. They (Repug’s) stopped a coheasive national health care program as presented by Hilary Clinton (and I won’t go into the explatives that you Repug’s think about her). And, now you see where health care is in this country, vertually unafordable.

But, in the Clinton years, we actually talked to foreign countries instead of invading them. (wierd huh?) We tried to reestablish the public help programs that had been gutted by Reagen/Bush. We tried to reestablish mental health care to those in need that had been kicked out of state mental health care programs under Reagen/Bush. And ironically Clinton put forth a healthy enviornment in medical research so we could finally advance in Alzheimer’s research, among other diseases. (Including Aids research that was an absolute taboo in the 12 previous years, (‘cause you know, only the gay’s get aids - a lie that is still being told in congress, under Bushco’s influence).

We weren’t at war, we had compassion for those less fortunate in our society, and off-shore accounts to hide taxes had not yet become so popular among the very rich. Clinton helped rebuild the infrastructure that had been gutted by the previous 12 Republician years, and the world seamed to be making strides at peace. (At least we weren’t #1 on the Islamic terrorist’s hit-list).

This was all before Bush got his paws on SS Medicare benifits and turned the prescriptions over to the drug companies so that they could write a blank check for drugs for the elderly. Yet another way to gutt the public trust. (Guess I won’t be retireing in the US anymore, I can’t afford the drugs that I will need to keep me alive. Guess I’ll go to Mexico and pay taxes there. After all, it’s only fair, most of their poor are making money here in the US, off of our rich companies, that can’t afford to PAY A LIVING WAGE TO AN AMERICAN !!!

YOU ASK:
“So what was so “nice” prior to 2001? ……”

BUSH WASN’T PRESIDENT!

And that, ….. by God, ….. is a start!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #173367

“Your obviously too stupid to understand that using the same percentage on someone making $30K v. $500K is absolutely nonsense”

Why is it nonsense? If you treat people as not equals, some believe they deserve special treatment.
As you say, I am stupid, please tell me how people with money do not expect and do indeed get special favors from our govt officials?

“Again, if you have more, you can afford to give more.”

And again, it is every man’s right to give to charity as he wishes.

“Just except that principle”

Hmmmm? No. I value freedom.

“I don’t base taxes on sympathy, your thinking is strange, I don’t even know where you pulled sympathy out of my comments.”

You have no sympathy for the poor?

“In an equal society comment makes my laugh, how many teeth do you have?”

Probably the average amount.

“Most won’t deny that with money, you are in a better position in too many cases to name than those without money.”

That really depends on how one would describe “a better position” now wouldn’t it.

“So there is no equality in this country. Look at what’s going on with gay people as an example.”

No there isn’t really, people are treated different based on many things and yes, gays are no exception.

“Again your stupidity makes me laugh, I don’t envy anyone with money, I would like for money to disappear actually, I hate money and don’t want that much anyway because I don’t want to become corrupt.”

Then quit worrying so much about what others do with their money and start giving all that money you hate to what you “say” you support.

“And the rich having to pay higher percentages is not unfair, it is actually the opposite, it is fair.”

In a Constitutional Republic, all men are treated equal, sorry. To treat them differently, such as we do now, brings about corruption.

“Rich people having to pay more taxes and thinking it is unfair is almost as funny as christians thinking they are being attacked in this country.”

I don’t know any rich people so I am not sure if they think it is unfair or not. It is my personal beliefs that make me believe treating men not as equals is wrong. But then again, I believe in our Constitution so I can see why that upsets you.
And I am not a Christian, so your little attempt there to get me riled up didn’t work.

“I would love to be able to divert my money to helping more poor people than let’s say paying to kill children in Iraq.”

I can show you where “defense” is in the Constitution, can you show me where resdistrubution of wealth is in it?

“And I do use some of my $$ to support children in other countries, money that I can’t afford, but it doesn’t matter.”

Yes it does matter. If you do not give every free penny you have to support your own beliefs and you insist govt take others money and force others to pay for your beliefs, then you are a hypocrit who expects others to do what you “say” is the right thing. Even though you yourself do not believe in it enough to support it.

“The a**hole comment I agree doesn’t get us anyway, but it sure as hell feels good, and if only this was a long time ago I could challenge you to a dual…”

Cool.

“kctim I would love to take a giant shit on you”

Um, not really my cup of tea, sorry. But I’m sure there are some magazines you can pick up to help you find somebody else who is into that kind of stuff. Good luck with that.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #173369

Dee,

Your diatribe is pure nonsense…

However, ascribing taxes, the economy, poor people, gays, stupidity and your feces into a comparison was quite a feat.

Posted by: Cliff at August 4, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #173371

I cannot believe I have lowered myself to the level that this post has sunk too. My apologies… (I bet Yahoo would like it)

I am sure that this will bring some interesting comments that will prove my point…

Posted by: Cliff at August 4, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #173372

“I realize repug-nuts abhor education and you have just proven the point. Try taking a basic course in economics instead of repeating repug-nuts talking points.”

Talking points? Yawn.

“Money has no meaning, no value, and no function except as a part of an economy. There is no such thing as an economy of one individual. It’s elementary economics regardless of what economics system one may advocate.”

What part of Economics 101 will teach me that stealing from one to give to another is right?

“The old adage, “you can’t take it with you,” is applicable here. You can’t own what you can’t take with you.”

True. But your FAMILY can own what you cannot take with you. Remember how important FAMILY used to be? You know, back before everyone expected govt to do everything for them.

“Some may be born into wealth (GHWB’s “silver spoon’); however, we all die into poverty (current value of the body: about $3.42)”

Silver spoon, blah blah blah. I do not care what others have nor do I envy what they have.

“When you speak of the government, you seem to forget that the government is us. It is not an independent entity.”

It used to be “us.” Until we sold out the Constitution and the rights it guaranteed us for freebies.

“A wealthy person is wealthy because they have exploited their society.”

Or worked real hard. You guys never mention those wealthy people though.

“Taxation merely returns ill-gotten and ill-used gains to the aggrieved, the society/economy as a whole.”

Un-Constitutional taxation does that, yes.

“This has been a great topic. Never before has the hypocritical natural of repug-nuts be so well demonstrated.”

I’m not really a Rep. But if thats the best argument you have against freedom and equality, have at it.

“The clearly unchristian nature of the GOP is here for all to see.”

I’m not a Christian, so its not really fair to lump that group in with me. In fact, many of those people also believe and support unfair and unequal taxation.

Posted by: kctim at August 4, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #173373

kctm wrote;

PN, “And by “more fair”, you mean a system which is run in accordance with what you believe,….”

No, I mean a system of taxation which taxes rich and poor equally. Not in $ amount as you suggest, but in a percentage of money earned (or inherited). If a poor person pays $100.00 per year, and that’s 10% of his/her earnings. Then, why should a business that makes a million $’s get a tax break (in paying nothing … (for you republicians) … I mean no, no money in taxes at all!,,,because of loop-holes and off-shore accounts, and out-sourcing). I mean, if you make a million dollars this year, why shouldn’t you pay 10%, as well? Why should you be any more priviliged, than a person that works at Mc Donalds? Just because you make more, doesn’t make you’re worth more,,,,,,,,morally, it just means that you have more to contribute to society than a poor person as far as taxes are concerned.

Kctm wrote:

…..”rather than what the Constitution says.”

EXACTLY!!!!!
Why do away with the tax on the wealthy, just because they make more money? (And, just because “King Bush” wants us to). Shouldn’t they have to pay the same percentage on their
INCOME, the same as any poor old stiff does? The same as all the rest of us? Or are rich people just too good in your book to pay taxes? Are they just intitled to more because they are worth it.

Hey, if you’re on a merry-go-round, weather you’re rich or poor, you gotta buy a ticket!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #173375

Cliff wrote:

PN, “I have made no derogatory comments to you, yet you insist on twisting my words into your own philosophy of what you think I stand for.”

Cliff, I have not twisted your words, as a matter of fact I copy and paste your exact words, from your post into a blank email, and I respond appropriately.

Cliff wrote:

PN, “Tell me again how much money the poor are paying to support this country?”

Cliff, The poor and the middle class in this country are paying 97% of the taxes that run this country. The rich, who earn 97% of the money in this country, (have 97% of this country’s wealth) pay only 3% of the tax liability. (This is not up for debate, it is a fact, you don’t have to believe it, but it is a fact, never-the-less.)

Cliff wrote:

PN, “Please read my post and don’t read anything into it.
Thank you..”

Cliff, I have read every one of your posts and I’ve read nothing “into-them”. I have quoted you word for word. And, let your words speak for themselves.

Cliff wrote:

PN, “Since when has the world ever played-nice?
Do you really think that things were “nice” prior to 2001? How myopic…..”

Cliff;

Well, from 1992-2000 for 8 years in all that time from 1980 untill now, there was Democratic representation in the White House. Congress became owned by the Republicians in 1994. In spite of that progress in the infrastructure is this country is self evident. They (Repug’s) stopped a coheasive national health care program as presented by Hilary Clinton (and I won’t go into the explatives that you Repug’s think about her). And, now you see where health care is in this country, vertually unafordable.

But, in the Clinton years, we actually talked to foreign countries instead of invading them. (wierd huh?) We tried to reestablish the public help programs that had been gutted by Reagen/Bush. We tried to reestablish mental health care to those in need that had been kicked out of state mental health care programs under Reagen/Bush. And ironically Clinton put forth a healthy enviornment in medical research so we could finally advance in Alzheimer’s research, among other diseases. (Including Aids research that was an absolute taboo in the 12 previous years, (‘cause you know, only the gay’s get aids - a lie that is still being told in congress, under Bushco’s influence).

We weren’t at war, we had compassion for those less fortunate in our society, and off-shore accounts to hide taxes had not yet become so popular among the very rich. Clinton helped rebuild the infrastructure that had been gutted by the previous 12 Republician years, and the world seamed to be making strides at peace. (At least we weren’t #1 on the Islamic terrorist’s hit-list).

This was all before Bush got his paws on SS Medicare benifits and turned the prescriptions over to the drug companies so that they could write a blank check for drugs for the elderly. Yet another way to gutt the public trust. (Guess I won’t be retireing in the US anymore, I can’t afford the drugs that I will need to keep me alive. Guess I’ll go to Mexico and pay taxes there. After all, it’s only fair, most of their poor are making money here in the US, off of our rich companies, that can’t afford to PAY A LIVING WAGE TO AN AMERICAN !!!

YOU ASK:
“So what was so “nice” prior to 2001? ……”

BUSH WASN’T PRESIDENT!

And that, … by God, … is a start!


Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #173381

kctm wrote to Allen

A wealthy person pays more in taxes than someone who is not wealthy. They DO pay their fair share. It is govts job to only spend what they take in and massive cuts in spending should come before ANY tax increase.

Actually rich people rarely pay taxes. And, if it’s the governments job to only spend the money it brings in (from taxes) in the public good, then this Republician Administration is doing one hell of a piss poor job. OUR GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDCHILDREN WILL STILL BE PAYING BACK CHINA LONG AFTER YOUR BONES ARE COLD!!! Oh so reductions in spending would mean that we need to “cut and run” from Iraq, is that what you mean????? It is costing us 2 billion a week you know? But, of course, I’m sure that you don’t mean reducing this cost any,,,, do you? And, “before ANY tax increase”? Isn’t doing away with the taxes on the rich a tax increase? Or, just as good as, the money missing from taxes has to be gotten from somewhere. Just tack it onto my salary…Hey why not? This country is going to hell in a handbag already, and retirement in Mexico is looking more and more affordable every day.

“Third, when any member of a society suffers poverty, it costs each member of that society morally and economically.”

Actually, Allen is perfectly correct in saying this! What part of this simple statement of truth is it so difficult, for you to understand?

First, we should not legislate morality.

OH MY GOOD LORD, THAT’S A HOT ONE, COMMING FROM A REPUBLICIAN.

Republicians who don’t want gays to have the same equal rights as heterosexual couples. Republicians who call a single mother of two on welfare “a welfare whore”. A Republician who thinks that women should not have the personal right to engage in their own reproductive system….. YOU MEAN THOSE REPUBLICIANS???? (LOL…:0) )

Second, it can be argued that feel-good give aways only promote a welfare state.

“Feel-Good” givaways? This promotes a “welfare state”? My gosh, I just don’t know why I didn’t think of that one myself? I’m an old person, just a few months/years from retirement. Hey, this is pure genious. Why work any longer when I can just live off welfare??? MY GOD, WHAT WAS I THINKING ANYWAY????

Charity should be an individual choice. The biggest problem people have with it being an individual choice is that those who “say” they really care would then be forced to support it themselves rather than forcing and extorting others to do it for them.

INCOME TAXES, ARE NOT CHARITY….BUT, ANYONE THAT HAS BEEN, AS BRAIN-WASHED AS YOU, SHOULDN’T BE EXPECTED TO KNOW THAT LITTLE DETAIL!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #173403

Dee, Allen, and PlayNice , you are really rocking along, and Stephen Daugherty, aka Baylor Bubba, thanks for its cheaper as a whole to pay living wages

Money is printed by the Government of The United States of America, and the government can tax it or devalue or tie it to the price of a particular metal or not, as provided by law, which can be changed to suit contemporary economic circumstances.

People of wealth are falling into 2 different categories, like the red states and blue states. Some people realize that they got rich, and appreciate that it was a matter of chance, and recognize their responsibility to help provide for others. Others just want to hang on to the money. My own inclination is to give every dollar and cent I have in my wallet to the next homeless person I see.

The Rpblcns are ruining this country. They have been a national disgrace for decades, and each one that comes along is worse than the one before. GWBush makes Reagan look good. They both make Nixon look terrific, and they all make Eisenhower look like he was in the wrong political party.

I have said this before, but I will say it again. Before this current idiot was selected by Rpblcn appointees to the SCOTUS, I had always felt that any tax I paid to the federal government was good, since I got the Government of The United States of America for my money. Now it has become a joke. Let the joke end with the midterm elections, strip this worthless obnoxious former drunk of all power, and send him back to a permanent vacation in Crawford, Texas.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 4, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #173415

Allen, let’s dispense with the “repug-nuts” name calling, please. That is an insult aimed at more than a third of this sites readership and that’s not allowed here. Follow our rules for participation linked at the end of this page. Thank you.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at August 4, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #173418

I don’t know how anyone else gets to this page, but I get to it under the catagory of:

Liberals and Democrats.

I hope that I don’t offend others here, but if I do, it’s most likely to be a Republician. And, since this is not a Republician site, and since I don’t go on any Rebublician sites, to post my views; if by chance that I do offend anyone, I hope that they take it … as it’s ment.

:0)

Posted by: PlayNice at August 4, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #173435

ohrealy-
Baylor Bubba? I hate to tell you this, but I’m one of the furthest things from a redneck you’d find. If you passed me by on the street, the word redneck would be the last one to come to mind. I’m a triple threat geek: A computer savvy nerd who loves science and actually plays the second disk and commentary tracks on his DVDs. One of the few reasons I use the word “y’all” is my recognition of English’s dire need for a second person plural pronoun. that isn’t exactly like the singular.

PlayNice- Don’t worry about crossing columns. I do it all the time. It’s fun to weave in front of oncoming traffic!

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 4, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #173441

Sorry Stephen, don’t quite get it?

Posted by: PlayNice at August 5, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #173486

PlayNice,

Your comment on 97% of taxes paid by the middle class and the poor…Can you get me a link to these facts…I cannot seem to find it…

Posted by: Discerner at August 5, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #173488

I did find this link from the IRS…Which is a pretty good source I’d say…It doesn’t match what you are saying…Not even close…

It seems to say that:

The top 1% pay over a third, 34.27% of all income taxes. (Up from 2003: 33.71%) The top 5% pay 54.36% of all income taxes (Up from 2002: 53.80%). The top 10% pay 65.84% (Up from 2002: 65.73%). The top 25% pay 83.88% (Down from 2002: 83.90%). The top 50% pay 96.54% (Up from 2002: 96.50%). The bottom 50%? They pay 3.46% of all income taxes (Down from 2002: 3.50%). The top 1% is paying nearly ten times the federal income taxes than the bottom 50%.

What do you think about your comments now?
Does these true facts change you mind?
They should.

Check it out

Posted by: discerner at August 5, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #173489

I did find this link from the IRS…Which is a pretty good source I’d say…It doesn’t match what you are saying…Not even close…

It seems to say that:

The top 1% pay over a third, 34.27% of all income taxes. (Up from 2003: 33.71%) The top 5% pay 54.36% of all income taxes (Up from 2002: 53.80%). The top 10% pay 65.84% (Up from 2002: 65.73%). The top 25% pay 83.88% (Down from 2002: 83.90%). The top 50% pay 96.54% (Up from 2002: 96.50%). The bottom 50%? They pay 3.46% of all income taxes (Down from 2002: 3.50%). The top 1% is paying nearly ten times the federal income taxes than the bottom 50%.

What do you think about your comments now?
Does these true facts change you mind?
They should.

Check it out

Posted by: discerner at August 5, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #173520

The analogy of pillow fluff reminds me of Galbreath’s quote describing trickle down economics as “feeding the horse, so the crows can eat.”

Posted by: Jack at August 5, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #173522

Jack:

‘as “feeding the horse, so the crows can eat.”

Speaking as a Crow, I’m all for crows eating.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 5, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #173524

Nice try discerner, but you are forgetting that the top 1% own 32.7% of the wealth, the top 5% own 57.7%, the top 10% own 69.8%, the top 50% own 97.2%, and the bottom 50% own only 2.8% of the wealth in this country.

check it out

Posted by: bushflipflops at August 5, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #173525

For an Estate Tax Summnary as of 2006 see:

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities at:

http://www.cbpp.org/5-31-06tax2.htm

Below is a small exert from the first two paragraphs:

With the Senate preparing to vote on permanent repeal of the estate tax in June, it is important to take stock of the changes that have already been made to the tax. As a result of legislation enacted in 2001, the portion of an estate that is exempt from taxation has more than doubled since 2000 and stands at $2 million ($4 million per couple) in 2006. Because of this increase in the exemption level, only one-fourth as many estates will be subject to tax in 2006 as in 2000, and only five out of every 1,000 people who die this year will pay any estate tax. The number of taxable estates will fall further when the exemption level rises to $3.5 million ($7 million per couple) in 2009. Moreover, the bulk of the benefits of the changes made so far and of those that will take effect through 2009 will go to estates valued at less than $5 million.

This report reviews data from the Internal Revenue Service, Congressional Budget Office, and Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center on the effects of the estate tax changes that have taken place since 2001, and of the additional changes that will occur in the next few years. Based on these data, we find:

Increases in the exemption level have drastically reduced the number of estates subject to tax. Already, the number of taxable estates has dropped from more than 50,000 in 2000 to fewer than 13,000 in 2006, and it will fall to about 7,000 when the exemption level rises to $3.5 million ($7 million per couple) in 2009. Put another way, a little over 2 percent of all estates were subject to tax in 2000. Today, only one-half of one percent of people who die — that is, 5 in 1,000 — pay any estate tax, and that number will fall to 3 in 1,000 in 2009

continued……….

Posted by: PlayNice at August 5, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #173527

For a review on the proposed mergence of the minimum wage increase and the decrease of the estate tax obligation, you can find more information at:

USA TODAY

The web site address for this artical is:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-08-03-minimum-wage-bill_x.htm

Below is a small exert from this artical:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill combining an estate tax cut with a boost in the federal minimum wage, an election-year combination engineered by Republicans, may see another vote this fall.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., told senators who voted against the bill to “rethink long and hard” during the four-week recess that began late early Friday. Congress reconvenes in September.

Frist also reiterated that the GOP will not split the minimum wage apart from the estate tax, and that future votes on the pay increase will be linked to cutting taxes on multimillion-dollar estates.

“These issues must be addressed as a package, all or nothing,” he said.

I will answer your question Discerner, when I get more time, but I’m sure that my source is

Air America

To be continued……

Posted by: PlayNice at August 5, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #173573

Discerner,

I’m still looking for the artical to support my 97% claim. However, with so many loop holes for the wealthy, and with so many kick-backs like the multi-million dollar give away to the oil companys who profited sum 9 BILLION in the first quarter of this year alone and got a 200 million substity from the government, I believe, without paying ANY TAXES!!! I would not be supprised that this deal alone could have accounted for some 30-40% in itself.

But, I’ll keep looking….

Meanwhile I found another artical. The web address is:

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/04/25/estate-18/

The first paragraph reads:

The 10-year effort to repeal the estate tax (aka the Paris Hilton Tax) on heirs of the super wealthy has been financed and coordinated by just 18 families, according to a new report by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy.

The families include “the candy magnate Mars family, Waltons of Wal-Mart fame, Kochs of Koch Industries and Dorrance family of the Campbell’s Soup Co.” Together, they are worth a total of $185.5 billion. The estate tax repeal would “collectively net them a windfall of $71.6 billion.”

Please go to the above web site to read the rest of the artical.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 5, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #173575

PlayNice,

I appreciate the additional info but it does not support your claim at all.

My info came straight from an IRS website.
It IS the basis for who pays taxes.
Can you except the information as fact?

Flip,

So what is your point?

Posted by: Discerner at August 5, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #173579

Discerner;

I’ve remembered where I heard the statistic. It was last week on Air America, on the Randy Roads Show. I must have been around Aug. 1st because the guest was refering to the New York Times Artical (8-1-06),about how the ultra rich avoid paying taxes by many means, including off shore bank accounts, in the Cayman Islands.

The statistic of money earned in the U.S. V.S the percentage of money paid in U.S. for income taxes, came up in this program. As you know the ultra rich control about 95% or more of the wealth in this country, however, most times they pay no tax at all. So, that leaves the entire tax burdon on the lowest 3-5% or Americans.

The New York Times Artical can be found at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/01/business/01tax.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1154491200&en=e09ef4772e1f3fdd&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin

Posted by: PlayNice at August 5, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #173581

PlayNice,

Kind of a stretch, don’t you think?

I’ll go with the IRS for stats…

The bottom 3-5% of income earners?
Come on, that’s ridiculous to even put down.
They pay NO income tax…

Posted by: Discerner at August 5, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #173583

Do you hate rich people?

Posted by: discerner at August 5, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #173584

PlayNice,

Look at Flips link above…It makes a lot more sense, don’t you think? It also falls in line with my stats from the IRS…Coincidental?

I don’t think so…

Posted by: discerner at August 5, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #173588

discerner,

I must have misread your post, my previous post was not in support of the statement by playnice that the poor and middle class pay 97% of the taxes, I find those numbers hard to believe. I thought you were making the typical conservative argument that the wealthy pay most of the taxes and were therefore being treated unfairly. My post was simply trying to show that the wealthiest should pay more in taxes because they control most of the wealth.

Posted by: bushflipflops at August 6, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #173589

And my references above in my last several posts should show anyone that the very wealthy who should be paying taxes,,,,,,

DON’T

THEY DON’T PAY ANY TAXES,,,,,AT ALL!!!.

And, since people that make less than $18,000.00 also don’t pay any taxes…..where does that leave some 60%-90% of the American public, HUH?

Unless, you have having trouble with math? You have to conclude logically that people that can ill afford to pay taxes do, while the very rich that can handily afford to pay taxes,,,,DON’T.

Now the republicians want to help the rich not pay even more taxes than they aren’t paying anyway…..Make perfect sence

(If your a republician!)

Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #173590

I don’t believe that you can tell, (and no one can tell), the hundreds of billions not being payed by the rich, in income taxes, because of off shore accounts….If you want to see how the super rich avoid paying taxes, you should look into several sources on the net about “Wal-Mart Economics”

You can believe what you want to of course. But if you think that the ultra, multi-million-dollar, multi-national, mega corporations pay taxes, then you’re pretty nieve. (I’m not talking about the poor slob that makes 20-100K per year. Or even the well off who make 100-200K per year. Do you know what the tax is now on someone who makes 500,000.00 per year? It’s on average, with a good tax lawyer $38,000.00 per year. (That’s not even 10%, wish I had a tax lawyer that good).

But, I got this information from the Randy Roads Show on Air America Radio (When the guest was the writer of that N.Y.Times artical) … So you might choose not to believe it, as well.

Ive given you several web sites to go to, so you dont have to believe me, anyway.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #173591

Discerner,

So sorry! My last post was in error. It read:

Do you know what the tax is on someone who makes $500,000.00 per year?

And it should have read:

Do you know what the tax is on someone who claims an income earnings of $500,000.00 per year?

Sorry.


Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 2:11 AM
Comment #173636

Playnice—

-“when you got your pay check and you pay taxes on what you make, then you buy a car,,,,you pay taxes on what you buy. Why? A stick of gum, a new house, a new T.V. more taxes.”

I pay taxes on my income, then I pay taxes on the ITEM I bought (not on the income again)…2 DIFFERENT taxes. Hardly comparable.


-“You earn money and got to dinner, you tip the waitress, she pays taxes on your money. Why not? It’s now her income.”

Yeah that’s right it’s HER income for doing HER job.


-“She buys some flowers at a flower shop for her sister, more taxes.”

Again, she payes taxes on the ITEMS she bought.


-“The flowershop owner pays their employee off that flower sale, more taxes.”

And again, SHE did a job which she got paid for, hence the tax on HER wages. This is not a second tax on the waitresses wages. It is not a third tax on MY wages…it is a tax on the wages earned by the flower shop gal.None of these people are transferring their “estate” to their heirs. They are earning and spending money, seperate from and independently of each other.


-“SO WHAT SHOULD THE PERSON THAT RECIEVES OVER A $600,000.00 GIFT BE EXEMPT FROM PAYING TAXES???”

1) It is not a gift, it is an estate built up by the person who earned it (Father/Mother/Uncle…
whatever) and passed on TO THEIR KIN/HEIRS; NOT wages paid to their kin for performing a job. It belongs to the family. The “taxes” on those wages have already been paid once, just like in all of your (somewhat skewed) examples above.

2) When those heirs spend that money on ITEMS, they will pay the same sales taxes that you and I and the waitress and the flower shop owner and the flower girl pay…ON THOSE ITEMS!!! And they will also probably pay LUXURY TAXES on the very expensive items they buy such as boats, vacation houses, fast cars etc…taxes you and I DON’T pay. (How’s that fair?)

3) Why $600,000? Why not $500,000? Why not $300,000? How about $150,000? How about…
whatever level of wages YOU earn. Rich is a relative term. Maybe, compared to me, YOU are rich and I am poor.
Who decides what is “rich” and what is “poor”? What is the decision based on? From all I have seen, seems like the $6k figure liberals always toss around is pretty arbitrary, like it was pulled it out of a hat.


-“YOU EXPECTING TO RECEIVE THAT MUCH SOME DAY???”

Nope…wish I were…but if I did I would sure be pi—ed at having to pay taxes on it AGAIN when they have already been paid!!


-“And, if you do, shut up and pay the taxes!!!!!”

Nice attitude.


Finally, I do not think that INCOME (of any kind) should be taxed at all…if it is it should be a FLAT tax, not a progressive tax!!

Why is it OK that the federal and state governments should get some of MY wages when they did nothing to earn it??? They can levy taxes on the products I buy and on my land purchases and that should be enough. The more I spend, the more taxes I will pay. The same as a progressive income tax but without the class warfare aspect. If you keep your money, you don’t pay taxes. If you spend it, you do. Seems pretty equitable to me.

Those who object to a flat income tax tend to forget that anyone who is “rich” will naturally pay more taxes through sales tax than those who are “poor”, hence they will still be paying
“their share”. Something which any thinking person can clearly see is NOT the case in a progressive system, where the rich pay more as they earn more, and the poor pay very little (if anything) and still receive all of society’s benefits (roads, defense, fire/police/emergency etc).

The rich support and subsidize everyone else, regardless of how much (or how little) of society’s benefits they use. For example, they pay into social security, same as everyone else, and if they are above a certain level of income can never collect from it.

And no one sees a problem with that? WOW!!!! Where’s the incentive to be productive and successful? Why would anyone EVER want to become rich? (I can get screwed and enjoy it more without being rich).

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #173641

bushflipflops—

“Nice try discerner, but you are forgetting that the top 1% own 32.7% of the wealth, the top 5% own 57.7%, the top 10% own 69.8%, the top 50% own 97.2%, and the bottom 50% own only 2.8% of the wealth in this country.”

Of course they do…that’s why they’re the TOP and that’s why they pay so much more in taxes. Kind of a no brainer there.

What YOU are forgetting is that private ownership of “wealth” (whatever that means) has absolutely NO BEARING on what taxes are used for by the goverment. How much land you own, whether you drive a Rolls Royce or a Toyota, whether you motor around in a 12 foot aluminum fishing boat or a 250 foot yacht…doesn’t matter. Your taxes still go to provide defense, roads, fire/police/emergency, and a myriad of social support services; most of which the “rich” will never have need of or access to even if they wanted (such as social security or disability benefits). Is it any wonder that “the rich” try so hard to pay less? They will seldom or never benefit from most of the services their taxes provide.
The “rich” are penalized for doing well, and then expected to foot the bill for those who aren’t so well off, as if that is somehow their fault.

So why does “owning wealth” mean that one should shoulder more than one’s fair share of providing for the basic needs of society as a whole?

And by the way…just who are the rich anyway…who determines what is rich and what is poor? Like I said to Playnice earlier…compared to me maybe YOU are rich…it’s all relative to your position in life at any given time.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #173644

Playnice—

“The statistic of money earned in the U.S. V.S the percentage of money paid in U.S. for income taxes, came up in this program. As you know the ultra rich control about 95% or more of the wealth in this country, however, most times they pay no tax at all. So, that leaves the entire tax burdon on the lowest 3-5% or Americans.”

Oh c’mon…NO TAX AT ALL??!! That is so preposterous…it doesn’t even make sense. If the “poorest” 3-5% of Americans are as poor as folks like YOU claim they are…how is it possible that the entire Unites States government is being funded by their taxes? That is a ridiculous claim, especially seeing as how the very poorest Americans (I believe those making below approximately $6,000 per year…as per IRS tax tables) PAY NO TAXES AT ALL!!!


DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #173651

DaveR,

I notice that you are against a progressive tax system, yet you support the taxation on sales of goods and services. Don’t you realize that sales taxes are regressive? Let’s say that a person taking home $40,000 a year after paying income taxes pays $8,000 a year in rent, leaving $32,000 left over to pay for utilities and other goods and services. So of the $40,000 available after income taxes they are taxed by way of a sales tax or other usage taxes on $32,000, or 80% of available income. Now let’s say a person who brings home $5,000,000 after income taxes owns their home so they have no monthly rent or mortgage payment, so all they have to spend money on is utilities and goods and services. Now some people with alot of money may go out and spend $5 million in a year, but let’s say that this person only spends half during the course of the year and invests the other half. This creates a situation where the rich person only pays sales taxes on 50% of their take home income. Do you see how these types of taxes are regressive? Now you might say that the person with $32,000 after paying rent has the option to not spend their money and instead invest, but when you have to pay for utilities, food, gas for the car, insurance, and other vital goods and services, there really is no choice but to spend everything you earn just to get by, and by doing so that means paying taxes on a larger percentage of income than a rich person has to. So I have no problem with a progressive income tax system to balance out a regressive sales tax system.

Posted by: bushflipflops at August 6, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #173672

DavidR,

Why is it fair for the State/Federal Government, to get a portion of your wages, when they did nothing to earn it? Because taxes, have nothing to do with “who earned it”. Taxes are collected by the State/Federal Government to supply goods and services to “society”. It is the general budget or operating expences, and all, are expected to pay their share for “the common good”, - for the good of the whole society. It is economically, how the Federal Government stayes in business.

You say that the rich pay more because they earn more. In an idealic society this would be true. But, this isnt an idealic society. In reality the rich, the super rich, (which does not apply to you, or you would understand the mechanics of what I am saying), actually dont “pay” income taxes at all. THATS THE PROBLEM.

The Federal Government collects personal and business income taxes once a year. It is a “public” trust, and provides for the “public welfare”/”public good”. Without these funds, our system would be bankrupt. It would simply have no funds from which to operate. It is not a judgement call, of who “earned” what. Its income whether it is earned, inherited, or won in a crap game, or in a lottery. It is “new” income to you, that is all the State/Government, cares about. They dont care who earned it, or who is going to use it, (the library, the road, port security etc…) and they dont need our approval on what to spend the money for/on.

Why should you pay income taxes? Because you are an American, and you live here. Its that simple.

As to the rest of your post. Actually you havent read all my posts and in paticular have not accessed the links in my previous posts. If you would have looked into those links from U.S.A. Today and the N.Y. Times artical, you would now, have the knowledge that most persons earning over a million dollars per year rarely pay taxes. And, inheritances of over, I think its 2 million, dont pay inheritance taxes, either. (It used to be anything over $50,000.00, but Bush has sure changed that, hasnt he?).

You seam to be having a problem with my figures. Well, if you conceed that 3% of our society earns under $18,000.00 per year, (seniors, youths, and low-end jobs) * and therefore are not subjected to income tax, then it should not be a stretch for you to acknowledge that the top 3% of our society, also do not pay income taxes, because of cushey deals and other loop-holes provided them by the Congress and the White House (which is basically in charge of our tax structure). So, that takes us to 94% of Americans, that accounts for 100% of the tax base. (That is the middle class - and dont look now; but, that is us - and we are under seige). Now, that is not too hard to understand, is it?

That 100% tax base, is then limited to persons or businesses that produce an anual income of between 18,000 and 500,000 per year. (And, of course, is limited to only the “declaired” income, in the upper portion of that 100% base. Who, in other words, declaire income, or money, (as earned income), that cant be hidden or re-directed somewhere else, or written off as a business expense or amertized, to avoid taxes).

Again here, you need to know how big busines, not only avoids taxes, but actually pockets large earned income amounts, while getting nice kick-backs (government substities) from our Government. (Id like to earn 9 Billion (thats billion, with a capital “B”) in profit, in just one quarter earning period this year, (thats 36 Billion per year) and not pay taxes, and get a nice 200 Million $ “Thank You” gift, from the U.S. Government!) While Suzzie at Kay-Mart kicks in 20% of her income…..such a deal!!!

Now, you pay income taxes, I pay income taxes. But, unless you are going to inherit over 2 Million dollars in the near future, (current standards - thanks to Bush) then believe me, this is a moot issue as far as you (and I), are concerned.

Read my links.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #173675

* I earn $18,000.00 per year, exactly. Yet, I pay taxes. Why? Because I have to add it as “joint income” and that puts us, in a higher tax bracket. Once my spouce dies however, I suppose one benifit might be that I will have a single income, and if that is not over $18,000.00 per year, I can live, income tax free. That is if you consider living at or close to, the poverty level in the U.S., …..living.

Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #173678

bushflipflops—

Yeah I have heard that arguement before…dozens of times. Same tired old arguement about percentages vs actual dollars. But those who indulge in this arguement always forget to include the following:

“Now let’s say a person who brings home $5,000,000 after income taxes owns their home so they have no monthly rent or mortgage payment…”

RIGHT!! Becuase they already paid for it…
including a much higher purchase price with all associated taxes, and huge property taxes every year. And since they do have a much more expensive house and property they probably pay much MORE in taxes than little guy pays in rent.

“…but when you have to pay for utilities, food, gas for the car, insurance, and other vital goods and services…”

Don’t rich people buy these things too? YOU admitted that they do…so you don’t factor that into the expenditures for the “rich” people, but you do for the “poor” people? Taxes are paid on all of that…both by rich and poor. And since the rich folks probably have more expensive cars, higher utility bills, more expensive insurance on those fancy cars, and eat better and more food, they also pay more in
“regressive” sales taxes for those same “needs” than the poor guy does!


SO when that “rich” person (and BTW, you still didn’t answer my question…who are the “rich”
…avoiding the issue?) invests those extra dollars they don’t have to spend on home and whatnot…does that money just disappear, never to be heard from again?

Are you referring to investments such as gold and silver, or investments in the stock market? They are different things, but investing in either produces much the same result.

Remember also that investing, especially in something new and unproven, is inherently risky, and the investor stands as much of a chance to lose their money as they do to make it big.

Investing in a commodity such as gold is buying an inanimate object which has worth. Investing in the stock market means buying shares of some company which produces a product. In both cases, people are employed.

Buying something valuable but in limited quantity, such as gold for example, means there is less for other people to buy. This makes it more desireable and people will pay more to get some for themselves, hence the price (worth) will go up. As the price goes up, the gold miners will look for new sources and extract them. The investor will sell his gold at the higher price, and the combination of mining and selling makes the price go down, now making it available for other people to buy, and the cycle continues.
Simple law of supply and demand. As supply goes down, demand goes up. As demand goes up, value goes up. As value goes up, productivity goes up. Producers make more money, middlemen make more money, everyone in the chain makes more money. Everyone benefits.


Buying shares in a company gives that company more money to work with and allows them to grow, creating more jobs. As they grow they require more outside services to help them run their company (a construction firm to build a new building…a shipping company to handle the increased volume of product transfer…an office supplier to sell them paper, copiers, computers, and hundreds of other items…any supplier of any kind that sells the company the equipment they need to do THEIR job). So the growth of that first company indirectly produces even more jobs through their demand for outside products they need to keep THEIR company growing. These outside supplier also grow, and they need stuff for their business. It is a circle…when a particular company is growing and doing well they expand, and everyone who does business with that company benefits.

Taxes are paid on ALL of this!!

Investing = growth = jobs.

So tell me again…how is investing vs spending a bad thing??

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #173684

DaveR,

You don’t have the slightest clue what I was talking about. Sure a rich person pays utiltities and insurance, and they probably pay more, but the percentage of sales and usage taxes they pay on those things as well as goods and services is the same as everyone else. I have no idea why you went off on a tangent about the benefits of purchasing stocks, I agree that investments in businesses in this country is a good thing. I was simply saying that these people don’t pay a tax for purchasing stock, and then earn money off of the stocks. Yes, I know the businesses pay taxes, and they pay taxes when they sell the stock if there is a gain, but they still earn money anyway.

It is very simple:

If you are near the bottom and have to spend every penny you earn on food, clothes, and other vital necessities, you pay sales tax. Therefore a person on the bottom of the economic scale has almost all of their income subject to sales taxes. A person on the top of the economic spectrum has the choice to not spend all their money on goods and services, and instead invest. Therefore, rich people don’t have to have all their money subjected to a sales tax. That is why a sales tax is regressive, and I’m sorry you can’t understand that.

Posted by: bushflipflops at August 6, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #173691

Playnice—

-“Why is it fair for the State/Federal Government, to get a portion of your wages, when they did nothing to earn it? Because taxes, have nothing to do with “who earned it”. Taxes are collected by the State/Federal Government to supply goods and services to “society”. It is the general budget or operating expences, and all, are expected to pay their share for “the common good”, - for the good of the whole society. It is economically, how the Federal Government stayes in business.”

No SH-T!! Really? Thanks for the civics lesson. I was such an idiot. I am so enlightened now.

But when you say fair share, what you really mean is that the more you make, the more you pay but the less you get back. And some people get more than others…hardly what I would call “the common good”.
Defense spending to protect our nation and our people benefits the “common good”…being a career welfare bum does not. Building roads for interstate trade benefits the “common good”…
providing free medical care to unemployed criminal drug addicts, or free money to perverts to piss in a jar with a cross in it or take pictures of homosexuals with bullwhips stuffed up their rectums and call it art does not. All of these are taxpayer funded programs for “the common good”…the benefit of society. So tell me again how “Piss Christ” benefitted society? I musta missed that lesson.
As I said once before (talk about not reading the whole message…or maybe you just chose to ignore the parts you didn’t like) do the rich get to collect social security or disability? They have to pay into it. Do they get a better military than we do? Do they get to live in terrorist free zones where no one can do them harm? They actually get less of their portion of “the common good” but pay much more for it. Hmmm…sounds fair to me!!

-“You say that the rich pay more because they earn more. In an idealic society this would be true. But, this isnt an idealic society. In reality the rich, the super rich, (which does not apply to you, or you would understand the mechanics of what I am saying), actually dont “pay” income taxes at all. THATS THE PROBLEM.”

Oh sorry…I forgot what an idiot I am…having trouble understanding “…the mechanics…” of your deep meaningful words. So I guess what you are implying is that you are either a) one of the super rich or b) much more intelligent than I, since you “understand the mechanics” better than I do.
The mechanics of what I am saying is this…the rich don’t get to draw any of the benefits that these income taxes provide, so it kinda evens out. [See above]


-“The Federal Government collects personal and business income taxes once a year…”

No they collect it from every paycheck I get, every 2 weeks…they use it and only refund it to me when they are done with it…once a year!!!

-“It is a “public” trust, and provides for the “public welfare”/”public good”.”

Right. So, lets suppose I were one of these nasty old rich guys you seem to hate so much, and I pay into this system (Oh sorry, I forgot…supposed to pay into the system, b/c I am cheating it), am I not a member of the public? What do I get out of this? Having smoe wealthier members of society who pay more into the system but aren’t allowed to access its benefits like everyone else can hardly be called contribution to a “public” trust.

-“It is not a judgement call, of who “earned” what. Its income whether it is earned, inherited, or won in a crap game, or in a lottery. It is “new” income to you…”

There are 2 main and very important differences between your “earned, crap game, lotto” examples and the inherited example from above.

1) Inherited money has already been [income] taxed once…WHEN IT WAS EARNED INITIALLY!!!

2) It belongs to the family now, and as such should not be subject to taxation again. If I spend my my after tax income to buy my family things they want or need, the government doesn’t take MORE income tax AND sales tax on that money I spend. I already paid the income tax…when I buy goods or services I pay the sales tax. That’s one tax of each kind on that money (that’s 2 taxes…keeping score?)

BUT…if I give that money (my money which I earned and already paid income tax on) to my heirs, THEY get income taxed AGAIN, and then pay sales tax on what they spend as well. That’s TWO income taxes AND ONE sales tax on the same money (that’s 3 taxes, for those who can’t count).

Three versus Two…3 vs 2. Three is one MORE than two. Two is one LESS than three. Doing something three times is MORE than doing it twice!! Getting the picture here?

To expound on your lottery example from above…if I win the lottery, I get taxed on those winnings. If I hand some of that money to my wife, why should she get taxed AGAIN on money I have already been taxed on once before? That is taxing the same income TWICE!! But that is EXACTLY how the estate tax works…with the exception that estate money is money that has been earned through someone’s labor or effort, and not the free winnings for buying a lottery ticket, so it is even more unfair to tax estates twice!!

So explain to me again how that is fair??


-And last but CERTAINLY not least!! “…and they dont need our approval on what to spend the money for/on.”

That comment is blatantly ridiculous, and based on the faulty liberal premise that all money is ultimately their (government’s) money!! It is not their money, it is OUR money, and we certainly have not only the right but the responsibility to tell them what we want done with it. Like you said “Without these funds, our system would be bankrupt. It would simply have no funds from which to operate.” That’s because it is OUR MONEY!!! OURS!!! We say how it gets spent, who it gets spent on, what it gets spent on, and how much.

To rephrase your own owrds just a little…”Why should you get to tell the government how to spend your taxes? Because you are an American, and you live here. Its that simple.”

If you truly believe you have NO RIGHT to tell the people in Washington D.C. and your own home state how to spend your tax dollars, you are a fool, and a dangerous one at that!!

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #173694

bushflipflops—

-“Sure a rich person pays utiltities and insurance, and they probably pay more, but the percentage of sales and usage taxes they pay on those things as well as goods and services is the same as everyone else.”

Jeez, you made my point for me! If they pay the same AMOUNT in sales/usage taxes, but their products and services COST MORE and they consume MORE OF THEM, then they PAY MORE TAXES!!!!!!!!

-“Therefore, rich people don’t have to have all their money subjected to a sales tax. That is why a sales tax is regressive, and I’m sorry you can’t understand that.

I understand that a sales tax is regressive BY DEFINITION!! My point, which I am sorry that YOU can’t understand, is that regardless of whether you invest or not, the more money you have to spend, the more stuff you will buy, and the more expensive stuff you will buy, so it naturally follows that you will pay more tax because you are (wait for it…..!!!) SPENDING MORE MONEY!!! (I could have sowrn I said that already…but maybe I didn’t understand and only thought I said it).
Not only that, but then that money is back into the economy and gets transferred to some other wage earner to be spent yet again!!

And my “tangent” as you called it was to illustrate that investment (despite being non-taxable), especially in new areas with growth potential, produces jobs and opportunities…
better paying jobs, better opportunites. Growth produces growth and spending, and that produces more income for everyone involved, all of which IS taxable!!

Eventually, either through promotion or by taking a better job, your $40k/yr income earner can become a $50k, then a $60k, then a $75k earner, and will have money to spend AND invest, maybe even in their OWN business whereby they become a “rich” person too! That is the American dream.

That is why I think sales taxes are OK (everyone pays them on every purchase thay make bar none…no loopholes there) but income taxes are negatively impacting the average American’s earning potential.
If I had that income tax money in my check every two weeks, maybe I would have enough extra to buy my own house instead of rent (which I would pay taxes on), and get a better car that doesn’t break down every couple weeks (which I would pay taxes on). I could take my wife and kids on vacation somewhere further from home than the nearest campground (paying taxes on the airline tickets, the hotels, the rental cars and everything else along the way). I could invest some into a business which, if I am successful, I would PAY TAXES ON!!!

So I say…let me have my income without income tax, and I will choose to spend it how I wish (paying sales and usage taxes all the way), and someday hopefully I will be “rich” enough to understand for myself what it means to be “rich” (since neither you nor Playnice seem able or willing to answer my question and define just what “rich” is).

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #173696

BushFF and Playnice—

I have an (obviously therotecial) solution that should please both of you. How about those of you who want to pay a sizeable chunk of your “income” to the federal and state government, do so. Those of us who think we should be able to keep it and spend it how we wish, we do so. Come back in a year or 2 and see who is in better financial shape (comparitively).

I am confident who that would be.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at August 6, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #173703

DaveR,

You only respond to points in my post that you personally don’t like. You have no understanding about the economics of the very wealthy in this country. Your posts have proven that. You have no concept about how mega-billion companies operate, tax free, in the United States (while you and I pay the taxes).

But, if keeping your pittley amount of money out of the entire tax system of the United States of America, (including the sales tax and property tax and every other kind of usery tax) over the next, what was it? 2 years? If that will make you feel better, then, by all means …. be my guest.

Just one catch.

You can not use the police department, or fire department, or any other emergency services, or any public building including schools, librarys, court houses, Federal buildings, or any other public building, park or recreational lands, state or national lands. Also, please do not make use of public transportation, or any other substidized way of travel, or drive on any public hyway, byway, thru-way, cos-way, tole-road, or any other public funded road-way. If you are on your yacht, please do not bother the coast guard. (Your not paying for this service). Also, do not gripe or complain about port security, border security, problems with the FAA, FDA, or any other government service that operates in the public interest.

Sign a public statement that no matter your desperate condition in life, and no matter the circumstances, that you will not take part in the welfare system of any U.S. state. That goes for SS also. You can not collect at any age, from now on, for any reason, S.S. And, forget your Medicare Part B, as well. (Bush has pretty much turned that over to private interests that have gutted the benifits for drugs for the elderly, anyway. So you don’t need medications either, when you get old, for any reason).

But, then you have all your money, the whole rest of your life, tax free, to save up.

Now, you multiply you, by 200 million people.

See you in two years!

(Oh, and P.S. —- you and those other 200 million people, get prepared to live in a fully depleated U.S. after 2 years, I hope you know how to speak Chineese, ‘cause someone has to pay on that 3 TRILLION $ debt we own them.
GOOD LUCK!)

Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #173725

P.S.:

Sorry, just one more thing before you go.
Since its my tax money (in the meantime), and I have the right to decide how it is spent?

Where do I go for a refund? Because I never authorized anyone to start an unprovoked war in another country, at the tune of 2 Billion dollars per week!

Posted by: PlayNice at August 6, 2006 11:28 PM
Post a comment