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  1. #16
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    Originally posted by GamingDirk on 04-12-2004 at 11:01 PM
    [B]Which is, indeed, exactly what it says...


    Yeah, like there aren't any other necessities of life, like a tooth bush, clothing, or a car to get yourself to work.


    Ok, so they pay rent, which is even worse (for them).


    This is true; this study is only of state and local taxes.


    Nor should it. This study was about personal income taxes. Business taxes are a whole other issue.
    My point is that those numbers are cooked. A poor person in my state after paying for rent and food would have maybe 10% of their income to spend on taxable items. With an 8% sales tax their state tax rate would be less than 1%. And don't even get me started on how much they get BACK from the state in benefits. (and a car is not a necessity)

  2. #17
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    You guys got it all wrong. It's not about our taxes its about spending. We keep sending the hogs to the trough in D.C. and they're expected to bring back more and more bacon or they'll get voted out.

    And Wardog, there was actually an annual budget surplus when Bush took office. Poof! It's gone, under a republican congress and white house. Long gone. Got kids? Tell them that they get to pay!

    It is turning into the most irresponsible sitting government we've ever had. Ten years ago, if you would have told me a republican controlled house, senate, and white house would be ringing up record deficits I would have laughed. The republicans would have laughed. Now I don't think anybody is laughing.

    I want lower taxes. I'm willing to give up so-called services to get them. I am not willing to mortgage my future and my childs future due to fiscally challenged politicians. Vote the bums out, and vote in someone who knows how to balance a checkbook.
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  3. #18
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    Originally posted by smoked trout on 04-13-2004 at 06:43 AM
    You guys got it all wrong. It's not about our taxes its about spending. We keep sending the hogs to the trough in D.C. and they're expected to bring back more and more bacon or they'll get voted out.

    And Wardog, there was actually an annual budget surplus when Bush took office. Poof! It's gone, under a republican congress and white house. Long gone. Got kids? Tell them that they get to pay!

    It is turning into the most irresponsible sitting government we've ever had. Ten years ago, if you would have told me a republican controlled house, senate, and white house would be ringing up record deficits I would have laughed. The republicans would have laughed. Now I don't think anybody is laughing.

    I want lower taxes. I'm willing to give up so-called services to get them. I am not willing to mortgage my future and my childs future due to fiscally challenged politicians. Vote the bums out, and vote in someone who knows how to balance a checkbook.
    I agree wholeheartedly except that I do not believe we need high taxation to balance the budget. Like you said, the problem is the spending. The Republicans are showing they can spend with the best of them. Truthfully though, the Senate is NOT Republican controlled.

  4. #19
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    Originally posted by smoked trout on 04-13-2004 at 08:43 AM
    Vote the bums out, and vote in someone who knows how to balance a checkbook.
    You do recall the Congressional bank fiasco of a few years back, right? By your line, we'd probably have to come up with over half freshman during the next election.

    I agree that it is about spending as much as taxation. The theory was cut taxes and starve government. So much for theory.

    deadrody,

    You're wasting your time typing. No liberal will ever come up with a valid reason why people who earn more should give charity to those who earn less. I'm all for a safety net protecting those truly unable to protect themselves, but our web of social programs goes way beyond that.

    So you feel better, I'll waste a little time typing, too.

    Our society is founded on a principle of individual freedom. With freedom comes responsibility, responsibility to fend for one's self.

    Some are born into privilege and others into poverty. All are given a chance to succeed. Rather than placing a premium on the value of an education, entire classes in our society don't seem to give a crap about education. It's easier to blame schools than to accept that some parents are not (and may be entirely incapable of) instilling a desire to learn.

    A liberal's solution is to encourage a cycle of underachievement. Reward people who fail by providing programs to support them. Take from the "rich" and give to the poor. Arbitrarily decide how much is too much and penalize people for making more.

    So-called conservatives are no better, IMHO. Rather than trimming government and allowing us to decide where our money is spent, Bush and this Congress have set new precedents for spending (including pork projects). Oh Bush has allowed us to keep more of our money today, but he has taken out a second and third mortgage on tomorrow's money.

    In general, our citizens have displayed an utter inability to manage cash (credit card fees for late payment and overlimit are expected to hit $13B, that's almost $50/year for every man, woman, and child in this nation, our personal savings rate has continued a downward march and now stands <2%). Our politicians seem to be merely following our lead. We're a collective nation of fiscal fools.

    By and large "rich" people have money because they know how to manage their money, control spending, etc. By and large "poor" people are stuck in a cycle of poverty, dependent on the government for their next handout and never learn the skills to rise above.

    Convince me you've got a program that will encourage people to value education, learn fiscal discipline and marketable skills, etc., and I'll give you money to support your program. Until then, I'll pay my share for roads, police, fire, defense, truly disabled citizens, etc., but I will not support programs for people that are capable of taking care of themselves. That's a message I'd like both the Dems and the Republicans to heed.

  5. #20
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    I don't think that the topic of consideration of ability to pay and the question of whether there is a responsibility for society to provide a safety net for those that fall on bad times should be taken to the extreme of simplification of tagging them as socialism and communism. I think these are worthy topics of debate that happen regardless of political and social systems.

    When I had years of high financial success, the impact on my basic needs was less than in years of less fortune. So 20% of $50K is different than 30% of $1Mil. At least when you look at it from the vantage point of needs. There's my take on Deadrody's question: because I can pay more if there is a justified need.

    I'm not saying the system ain't broke, just that it needs fixing as has been said

    But the topic is deficit, and I'd rather comment on what others are saying.

    As a conservative I look at deficit spending as any other financial element. I remember how it affected the election chances of BushSr, how Clinton didn't initially react to the issue, but quickly did when the pressure was applied. I understand the impact of 911 on both the economy and the demands of security and support the limited impact on our nation's financials with the Afghanistan war. In fact, as a conservative, my feeling is we should have focused on that initial battle.

    But I can't be so cavalier as to buy into some statements made by others regarding the true need for conflict in Iraq. I feel that this administration backed a hunch on a situation that the past 4 administrations shied away from for similar reasons while not only having the same Intel, but a more defined mission of the time because the atrocities being currently bantered under the flag of secondary justification were happening during those times. Specifically, I speak of the invasion to oust the dictator. In retrospect, the evidence given to date proved my reservations going into this war to rid the madman with weapons that threatened the peace of the world.

    Case in point, we now justify this as a conflict to free a nation. This is nothing more than evolving rhetoric to justify an action. I'm not saying a small additional feature of the invasion was never mentioned, just that it was not the perceived reason for the call for solidarity from Congress and the American people that BushJr called for in both the speech in Cincinnati and the State of the Union that resulted in Republicans and Democrats along with popular opinion to rally together. And that cause was threat, not democracy.

    So now to get back on topic, as a traditional conservative, I question the original need for the money spent, the impact on varied economic issues like the deficit, energy costs and even simple things like the cost of plywood, which has skyrocketed since the reconstruction of Iraq began. While we justify deficit spending to fuel the military complex back to levels of the Cold War, our world neighbors have moved on towards world domination in business. And as a business person, I know that is what feeds the economy in the long run. I look at things this way even though my past includes DOD work in the corporate world and know the value of a strong defense.

    Just an opinion from someone who is not a Democrat, nor a liberal, and doesn’t buy the sound bites from the GOP. This opinion is only compounded by the additional spending that has been previously mentioned by others.

  6. #21
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    "because I can pay more" does not strike me a a reason why I should pay more. I'm remodeling a sun-room on my house. I'll probably drop ~$5K, and that's doing pretty much all the work myself. I don't need to remodel it. I could give that money to the government. There is no reason why I should give it to the government, so I'll continue my remodeling.

    If it truly is about needs, then all able-bodied citizens should equally bear the burden. My definition of needs encompasses a whole lot less than a liberal's, however. Mine doesn't go much beyond the items I listed above. Our government's definition doesn't seem to vary much by party, and includes copious spending above and beyond basic needs.

  7. #22
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    Originally posted by myv65 on 04-13-2004 at 11:29 AM
    "because I can pay more" does not strike me a a reason why I should pay more. I'm remodeling a sun-room on my house. I'll probably drop ~$5K, and that's doing pretty much all the work myself. I don't need to remodel it. I could give that money to the government. There is no reason why I should give it to the government, so I'll continue my remodeling.

    If it truly is about needs, then all able-bodied citizens should equally bear the burden. My definition of needs encompasses a whole lot less than a liberal's, however. Mine doesn't go much beyond the items I listed above. Our government's definition doesn't seem to vary much by party, and includes copious spending above and beyond basic needs.
    Perhaps I should have been more specific in my point that the impact is less on me than someone with less.

    In a perfect world, equality is the best solution. Not seeing a solution to the spending, I just don't think we can afford perfection. While you or I can afford that sunroom, some are having trouble with the house part. While low-income rentors don't pay taxes directly, they do pay for the taxes by the design of the supply chain. They just can't deduct the payments. There's just more to the picture, imho.

    My point is there is a difference between the best just solution and just a solution. And burdens have a relative measure in the reality of economics that go beyond the simple percentage of income.

  8. #23
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    The point isn't that you should give up all your extra money for a new sunroom or car or whatever. The point is that a person with a 250 grand income should be paying well more than someone with a 20 grand income.

    And while percentages seem a fair way to do it in some respects, they don't work well at the very low or the very high ends of the spectrum.

  9. #24
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    couple points:

    taxes are still too high
    spending is too high
    corporations DO NOT PAY INCOME TAX, ONLY INDIVIDUALS DO!!!!!

    ANY TAX ASSESED TO THE CORPORATION IS PASSED ALONG TO CUSTOMERS AND SHAREHOLDERS.

    we can certainly debate symantics, but our whole tax code should be trashed asap!

  10. #25
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    Originally posted by wardog25 on 04-13-2004 at 12:10 PM
    The point isn't that you should give up all your extra money for a new sunroom or car or whatever. The point is that a person with a 250 grand income should be paying well more than someone with a 20 grand income.

    And while percentages seem a fair way to do it in some respects, they don't work well at the very low or the very high ends of the spectrum.
    Someone that makes $250 DOES pay well more than someone that makes $20K. From the tax tables, assume both are single. Also, assume the person that makes $20K does not itemize, so as to maximize the amount he would pay. After the standard deduction/exemption, the taxable income is $12,200 and results in a tax due of $1,476.

    Now, for the person that makes the $250K. Let's reduce his liability by assuming he has a big mortgage along with other qualifying deductions on his Schedule A to reduce his taxable income to $200K--to try and minimize his tax liability. Using the tables in the instructions for Form 1040, his tax liability on the $200K comes to $53,571--quite a bit more, at least the way I learned math.

    So, the person with the salary 12.5 times greater owes the IRS a tax payment that is 36.3 times greater. That certainly seems to me that the person making the $250K salary IS paying well more than the person with the $20K salary.

    Of course, the large base of voters that BELIEVES that the "rich" are getting an unfair tax break probably wouldn't understand mathematical calculations as complex as multiplication and division.

  11. #26
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    If america was a company, it would have already declared chapter 11...

    Im not precisely a "liberal" nor a "conservative" either. The fact that this country was founded on the principles of freedom is a fact that escapes many of the corportations of today. Instead of being owned by someone, our poor are slaves to their jobs, especially in the trouble economic times that we live in now. From 1970 to 2000 the average income of the upper quntile of our society has increase almost 100%, whereas the the average income for those of the the middle and lower quntiles have either stangnated or actually dropped. This doesn't even bring inflation in to account, so basically the middle and lower classes have less and less money to spend, and the wealthly have more and more.

    There is also a problem with the inherent system of economic being practiced in our country. Capitalism is a system that by nature needs someone to exploit, the poor. We talk about how our country is the land of the free, but then we go and exploit the poor, so that our rich can have more toys.

    Do you pro-war people have any idea how much this war is actually costing? The intial efforts for the road to baghad cost $60 Billion dollars, and the occuapation is something like $40 million per day. That is money that could be much better used in improving health-care and schooling to our extremely poor, those who can't afford it. Every single parent here would be appalled to send their kid to a school in a city like East St. Louis, which is one of the poorest cities in our nation. The whole "No-Child Left Behind" Act is a bunch of crap too. It penalizes school districts that have poor scores, and takes money away from them and gives it to the districts that are doing good. This just makes the problem worse! How is a poor, urban area school going to improve their education if they have no money to get better equipment, to give the poor kids some food, and to hire good teachers!?!?! Bush is either just stupid, or being deliberately malicous toward the poor.

    To Prove my example, I will use the area i live, SE Michigan, or more exact, Flint, MI. Flint is a town that is on the demise. From a peak population of over 200,000, it has declined to about 120,000 and most of the people left are those who are too poor to move. Because of this, the City's education facitlies are not the best, becuase the $6600 given to us by the state of michigan is only enough to provide the bare minimums. The opposite of Flint is the City of Westward Heights, MI, a wealthy community that has an average income of over 100k per year. They voted themselves a mil that brings the average money avalible per student to something over 20,000 per year. Now which city has better schools, higher G.P.A students, that will go on to college and high paying jobs, and make more money? why the kids from westward heights! Being poor is such a penalty in this country that it is almost impossible to succeed at anything, escpeially for white poor (call me a racist but at least minorirties have programs that aid them, but the white poor do not.)

    All the left wingers complain about how they have to give their hard earned money to the poor who sit on their A$$es all day, that is a bunch of crap. less than 10% of the poor are on well-fare, most of them are working poor, working 2-3 jobs at fast food resturants trying to make ends meet. They get so exausted that they have no time left for their kids, who end up in the same catergory as them. America is domminated by an economic caste system.

    Well i basically lost my train of thought ranting and raving but the only thing that really needs to be cut in our gov't is the payraises of our do-nothing politians and our military spending. As it is my generation won't have things like social security and medicare, because of mis-mangement by our gov't, they will be bankrupt, by 2017 in fact.

    To conclude this impromptu tirade, Id like to say that social darwinism, the great justification is a bunch of CRAP, seriously, all it is, is a way to ease the consciences the W.A.S.Ps who have benefited from the work of the poor all their lives...

    BTW yes im white, and im middle to upper-class, live in probably the best neighborhood in Flint...
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  12. #27
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    Originally posted by wardog25 on 04-13-2004 at 11:10 AM
    The point is that a person with a 250 grand income should be paying well more than someone with a 20 grand income.
    Why? As I said above, "because they can" is not a justification.

    We could all get by on <$20k/person/year. Why not just take anything and everything beyond that? Is that too extreme? OK, then take everything beyond $30k/person/year. Where is the logic in one approach vs another?

    I could donate blood every six weeks. Does that mean I should or must?

    Our society is a mixture of capitalism and socialism. Our tax system tilts toward the socialistic end of the spectrum. Bush has reduced that tilt a bit and the Democrats make it out as though the sky is falling.

    I've said many times, including within this thread, that Bush spends too much. It's a character flaw that I recognize and duly note when evaluating him against the options. Democrats have an even greater character flaw related to this thread. They believe that they know how to spend our money better than we do. Many seem to believe that it really isn't our money, rather it's just "on loan" from the government.

    The "justification" for taxing higher incomes at higher rates is a reflection of this. You need to ask yourself a question in this regard. Who knows better how to wisely spend money? Is it the government or the successful individual that has risen to riches? What do you suppose rich folks do with their money? Do they put it under a mattress? Do they put it in the bank at 1% APR? Do they spend it fruitlessly supporting bureaucrats and middle-men? The answer in all cases is "no" because that isn't how you acquire wealth.

    To hear some folks talk, giving the wealthy a tax cut somehow takes money out of circulation. Wealthy people don't sit on cash because stagnant cash does not grow. Even as their "net worth" grows, it does so because they've put their assets into something concrete. They've bought stock so a company has capital to invest or hire. They've invested in their own business, which also produces jobs.

    Warren Buffett is "worth" billions but very little of his worth is in the form of cash. He's worth billions because he's invested wisely in companies (mainly American companies). He's worth billions because the companies that he has invested in have produced value, something that can only be done by employing people.

    So I'd ask a couple of questions again in closing. What's the justification for taxing people based on what they make? Do you trust the government or someone who has created their own wealth when it comes to spending money wisely?

  13. #28
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    who will guard the guardians... all i have to say...
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  14. #29
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    myv65, so are you saying everyone should be taxed evenly as in the same amount or the same percentage?

    Whether people have money or know how to use their money has nothing to do with whether the government should take some or not.

    I'm not saying the government is great with the way they handle money or that I agree with all they do, but government is essential, and it costs money.

    I've been to more than enough countries that have no middle class to see that overly favoring the rich is NOT the way to go. When 2% of the population is oozing in money, and the other 98% is living in a shanties built from roofing material, there is something wrong with how money is handled.

    Yes, if you make extra money, you are going to lose a larger percentage of it. But so what, you just said that you could get by with 30 grand a year, why not be happy with what you had left over. You knew perfectly well that when you worked hard for that money that the government would take 30 odd percent of it. So why complain when it happens? If these rich people are as good with money as you say, they should have no trouble investing the 65% left over and raking in another huge profit.

  15. #30
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    Originally posted by myv65 on 04-13-2004 at 08:14 AM
    You do recall the Congressional bank fiasco of a few years back, right? By your line, we'd probably have to come up with over half freshman during the next election.
    If they can balance a checkbook, I'd say that's OK. And I remember that fiasco well, that's one big reason why Montana's lone representative is now a republican instead of the democrat we had for years.

    I firmly believe that we live in a country where we all have the opportunity available to us to rise out of poverty, overcome financial strife, and better our financial standing. It's a question of how hard an individual is willing to work. However, some are born into a better financial situation, generally as a result of their ancestor's work. Lucky them. I plan on doing the best for my descendants as I possibly can, I'm pretty sure you all are acting the same way.

    And while tax structure is a very important topic, deficit spending is even more so IMHO. Take myv65's sun room as an example.
    myv65 has worked hard to put himself in a position to say "I want the sun room" and pay for it. Our government, on the other hand, is counting on us Americans to work hard to pay for every pet project from sea to shining sea, and quite a few more across each sea. And while our amazing economy & productivity may be able to overcome the current deficit, we are in danger of pushing it beyond the limits. Worst case scenario is another tragic event such as 9/11 to cause another panic, then how big does the current deficit look?

    myv65, the only point I will disagree with you on in your last post is that republicans aren't managing our country's finances that much differently than the democrats would. It's just a question of when we will pay for it. Both parties are guilty of ideologies that spend far too much. And while I appreciate the recent tax cuts, both personnally and philosophically, I'd appreciate it more so if they weren't ringing up record deficits. I see irresponsibility instead.
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