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THE MATRIX

Americans agree: The rich should pay higher

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Wookietim

Oh calm down!! I don't care what those numbers say. I think it's pretty obvious there is too much money at the top in this country. If something isn't done soon we'll be a third world country. That's where we're headed.

Third world countries have an inordinate amount of wealth held by people at the top.

Third world countries have much of the population out of work while the people at the top reap huge profits.

Third world countries have elections where there are constant accusations of election fraud.

Third world countries have citizens throwing tantrums at politicians who do not listen to them.

Third world countries have govts that reward the rich and ignore the poor.

"It's pretty obvious that is where we are headed"? Personally, I'd say "Look around, we are already there."

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danielost

The rich did not make all that money by themselves. I would love to see how much money they could actually make by themselves. There is a chain in any workplace and top makes more than the bottom but all should make enough to live and if they don't there should be services for them so they don't have to live on the streets. There should also be services for people who can't help themselves. And yes there are going to be people who cheat the system at the bottom and top. And when the top has no rules which was the case for years the top is going to do the majority of the cheating such as Enron and rich people filing bankruptcy multiple times and dumping their debts on the majority and that's how we got in the situation we're in now. The rich need to pay more in taxes because they have been cheating the majority of us for years that's how all the money got where it is now. Not because those people at the top are geniuses or even hard workers.

i have asked this before and will again. what is a living wage, and if everyone was making a living wage what would the prices be or would proverty lvls go up with the living wage.

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danielost

That is the single least reasonable thing I have ever heard anybody say regarding the economy.

"Do everything that I want first and then maybe we can talk about what you want."

what is unreasonable about getting the spending under control before we throw more money at it. what is unreasonable is to raise taxes and spend more money, then raise taxes and spend more money, raise taxes and spend more money, do you see the pattern. in order to break that pattern you have to cut spending and the raise taxes, if needed.

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questionmark

i have asked this before and will again. what is a living wage, and if everyone was making a living wage what would the prices be or would proverty lvls go up with the living wage.

There are two ways to increase minimum wages to living wages for the industrialist, one is to increase the price of his product and the second to earn a little less. Clever industrialists, such as Henry Ford, Charlea A. Coffin or Thomas J. Watson did exactly that. They knew if the majority could not afford the products they were producing it would make little sense to produce them.

But brains evidently is not part of the needed endowment of today's industrialists.

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conspiracybeliever

i have asked this before and will again. what is a living wage, and if everyone was making a living wage what would the prices be or would proverty lvls go up with the living wage.

Did you ask me that before? If you did my answer would probably be the same as it is now. We did it before why can't we do it now? Why do you expect people to work for slave wages? Especially when you don't even work and you get everything free due to the fact that others are working!?

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Wookietim

There are two ways to increase minimum wages to living wages for the industrialist, one is to increase the price of his product and the second to earn a little less. Clever industrialists, such as Henry Ford, Charlea A. Coffin or Thomas J. Watson did exactly that. They knew if the majority could not afford the products they were producing it would make little sense to produce them.

But brains evidently is not part of the needed endowment of today's industrialists.

The basic idea that you are referring to is now known as "Fair Trade" - the idea of trading with vendors that treat their employees well, pay them well, and (Usually) respect the environment in the products they create. There are many vendors worldwide that are doing perfectly well and engaging in fair trade... But yet many people on the far right seem to think that the only way for an employer to make money is to only pay the absolute lowest wages and then create a sweatshop environment.

Paying employees well makes them happier (Leading to more productivity and fewer mistakes and errors) as well as creates actual consumers for the products being made. It also lifts the society they live in, as those employees will be able to afford to help and patronize other vendors in their society. We do not need to create a population of people living in poverty with no voice that are exploited to be successful.

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rashore

Ok, how about a combination of tax action...

Close loopholes in personal tax laws.

Make a flax tax on businesses. If a company has more than X percentage of employees or bases outside the US, there's a tax for that. If a company claims to be a US company, they have to be accountable for all their profits, even ones outside the US. No loss claiming on taxes- most losses are either one's own stupid or something covered by an insurance.

Make a low tax on common goods like power, gas, water, that cannot have any other tax stacked on it. Voting on what is common goods should be allowed every so often, by general vote of all the states. Say every eight years, in the middle of the presidential term, or in times of active war- like the rationing and victory garden impact kind- a vote every four years, in the middle of a presidential term.

Implement a high tax on imported luxury goods. Implement a lower tax on any imported goods, the common goods are exempted.

Make a sliding sales tax on foods according to their processed/nutritional value- say frozen broccoli has no tax, but a box of bust your heart fat chewies has a tax. lol, maybe it would give schools an incentive to serve good stuff cuz in the end it's cheaper. Crap, would have to seriously clean up the FDA, but it seriously needs it.

Petition and vote in pay cuts for our politicians. In general, quit making media and sports the effing honeypot of the nation. There is no reason why a media or sports person makes the money they do except that we are willing to pay for it.

An interesting one for people that owe taxes... Give a personal tax break for government services. The government is all wanting us to have access to decent healthcare, right? Instead of mandating insurance and all that.. Why not let people work for government health facilities? Let a construction worker pay off his tax bill by putting in a weekend of putting in a roof on a clinic. A doctor could work off their taxes by putting in hours seeing patients, bla bla bla. Or keeping our public lands clean and protected. Any random person could be on garbage duty. If people have skills that are otherwise needed.. like building a picnic area, or tree removal, they can pay tax hours too. All these hours are paid the same wage no matter what the position. Maybe minimum wage would work. Remember, this is for people that OWE taxes, not people really getting paid in a traditional sense.

Hmm, need to address poor people a bit too, the ones that abuse the system in their own way just as much as rich folks abuse the system in their way. Take unemployment for example. I know not everyone is like this, but I have known several people on it and every single one of them has lied about looking for work, which seems to be a requirement to get unemployment. The whole spread and spawn to make money thing needs to be entirely nixed. I know of way more moms that have gotten government help that really was just rough going than ones that do that. But I will never forget the conversation I had with a gal working for the city I was living in- I was trying to get help fixing my house, and she told me it would help a lot if I had a kid or was expecting. I was flabbergasted and asked her, wait, if I can't afford my life to the extent that I have to get help, I'm supposed to bring a kid into this mess? And she said not exactly, but it would help.

When the "lazy" poor take tax dollars they don't really honestly need to be taking- it screws the "truly" needy poor just as much as not taking more money from the rich seems to. And yes, there are lazy poor and truly needy poor. Like there are scheister rich and honest rich too. I just can't justify screwing the honest rich any more than I can justify the lazy poor. I can justify correcting the swindling rich and helping those truly in need get back on their feet.

There's also ways to change where those tax dollars go of course.. but those are other threads..

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Wookietim

Rashore - something you said in your post ought to be expanded upon : There is no reason why these people ought to be making the money they are other than the fact we are willing to pay for it. (I slightly paraphrased you there - hope you don't mind).

Here is something that many people do not seem to realize : These CEO's that make millions of dollars per year are making that money by increasing prices to consumers. Their salaries are not materializing out of thin air after all. Think about it. You, me, every right wing zealot that supports tax cuts and every left wing zealot that supports increased taxes is paying more for products we buy every day in order to support people at the level of a few million dollars per year so that they can vacation in Monaco or the Seychelles (Or wherever they go nowadays).

Why is it such a horrid idea to ask for just a bit more of that money to be paid in taxes in order to help those people that so obediently support the paychecks of the rich?

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rashore

Totally get where you are coming from Wookie.. There is nothing wrong in paying more taxes.. but I think a point would be to stitch up leakage points first. We loose a lot of money through loopholes. There is also nothing wrong in cutting spending- Another sewing up of loopholes before applying or cutting more would probably be wise.

The problem is, tax the rich is just as much of a blanket as cut the poor is. It's nabbing everyone of X income of nastiness committed by a few of those people. Kind of like nabbing everyone of X meatsuit color by cops, or assuming everyone at X resale shop has to be destitute in the store and wealthy at the drop off, or assuming everyone begging on the streets is really that hard off ( I say this one because I've seen some pretty serious effing designer beggars sometimes- it's really weird).

I was just throwing some pretty specific stuff out there so people would start debating actual taxation suggestions instead of flaking on each other or pounding numbers which may help tell what's going on but isn't much help in the solutions section.

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FurthurBB

I've got a question, since nobody else seems to want to answer it :

Which would you rather be : Rich under the Clinton tax structure or Poor under the Bush tax cuts? Because I suspect you would still rather be rich even if you had to pay more money in taxes than otherwise... and if so, why is it that you think that the Clinton tax structure was so bad? Were the rich utterly destitute under those taxes?

I would chose to be rich in France, paying almost 1/2 my income in taxes to being poor in Sweden, the country with the most welfare programs.

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FurthurBB

But they would reduce the disparity so it can't be that.

Br Cornelius

Obviously, government grows as populations grow and want the government to protect them more, and baby them more. Both parties and all Americans are equally culpable in the evolution of a large federal government.

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FurthurBB

Since most illegal immigrants are below taxable rates (been on below minimum wage) I don't feel it makes a hell of a lot of practical difference whether they are registered for tax or not - they probably are losing out by not been registered. Think about that. At the same time think about how your economy would function without all that cheap labour. Possibly better, but I don't think most of your CEO's would necessarily agree.

Br Cornelius

Yes, they are definitely paying in California with no hope of benefits.

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FurthurBB

I'm not at all convinced that the above is true.

AFAIK, illegals pay taxes through their bogus SS numbers/green cards. Maybe not income taxes because of low incomes (but even if they were legal, they'd have no income tax liability - for the same reason.)

Maybe I'm wrong, but I seriously doubt that there are a large number of illegals in the country working without using false documentation.

No question about it, there are far more citizens working under the table than there are illegals.

Harte

Since studies in California have falsified this belief and common sense should have done it long ago. I would say not believing it is the way to go.

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TFSM

Sorry, don't think so:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States

The poverty rate as a percentage has been remarkably stable over the last 40 years or so, hovering between 12 and 14%.

Of course, that's the U.S. in general and there are areas of the US where the rate is much higher (and much lower.)

Harte

The poverty rate in the 80s seems to be aleast 9% less than today. That's about a 25% increase from the 80s to today.

For the 50s you need to take into consideration the multiple-income household. In families from the 50s, the wife normally didn't work. Now, we have both parents working and the poverty rate is about the same. By all accounts, it is worse today.

Not sure how you see that as "remarkably stable"

Edited by TFSM

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Harte

The poverty rate in the 80s seems to be aleast 9% less than today. That's about a 25% increase from the 80s to today.

I don't see that at my link. Where's yours?

For the 50s you need to take into consideration the multiple-income household. In families from the 50s, the wife normally didn't work. Now, we have both parents working and the poverty rate is about the same. By all accounts, it is worse today.

The link I provided shows poverty rates in the fifties at around twice todays numbers.

Are you just making this up?

Harte

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Wookietim

Totally get where you are coming from Wookie.. There is nothing wrong in paying more taxes.. but I think a point would be to stitch up leakage points first. We loose a lot of money through loopholes. There is also nothing wrong in cutting spending- Another sewing up of loopholes before applying or cutting more would probably be wise.

The problem is, tax the rich is just as much of a blanket as cut the poor is. It's nabbing everyone of X income of nastiness committed by a few of those people. Kind of like nabbing everyone of X meatsuit color by cops, or assuming everyone at X resale shop has to be destitute in the store and wealthy at the drop off, or assuming everyone begging on the streets is really that hard off ( I say this one because I've seen some pretty serious effing designer beggars sometimes- it's really weird).

I was just throwing some pretty specific stuff out there so people would start debating actual taxation suggestions instead of flaking on each other or pounding numbers which may help tell what's going on but isn't much help in the solutions section.

You see, this is what I don't get. People seem to think that taxes are some sort of punishment... Personally, I don't think raising taxes a tiny bit is some form of punishment for the rich. They will still be rich, still be able to live their lives in the same way they are now and just have to pay a few more percent in taxes...

It is much more disruptive to cut services to the poor (Thereby changing their lives 100% for the worse) than it is to tax the rich (And not change the rich's lives one iota)...

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Harte

Personally, I don't think raising taxes a tiny bit is some form of punishment for the rich.

It's not.

But it also isn't even a baby step toward solving the problem.

Harte

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Wookietim

It's not.

But it also isn't even a baby step toward solving the problem.

Harte

I hate to tell you this, but any solution to the problem of our debt is going to include higher taxes - for everyone. Arguing against it on a constant basis is actually what is not even a tiny baby step towards a solution.

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ninjadude

But it also isn't even a baby step toward solving the problem.

actually it is. The 400 richest could handle that tiny percentage and it would be a huge difference. Do you have ANY idea how much money they have compared to regular folks?

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Blizno

Obviously, government grows as populations grow and want the government to protect them more, and baby them more. Both parties and all Americans are equally culpable in the evolution of a large federal government.

"Baby" them. You mean like regulating how much poison industries can pump into the air and into the water that we all must consume?

Or do you mean "babying" citizens by inspecting foodstuffs entering US markets to reduce the risk of food poisoning? Is that what you mean by "babying"?

Or do mean increasing regulations controlling the out-of-control financial industries that plunged USA into the second-worst economic collapse in its entire history, is that what you mean by "babying"?

Or the big one: is the US government "babying" US citizens by spending vast...VAST wealth on the US war industries? Is that "babying" taxpayers?

Large federal government is bad because it...spends taxpayer money to ensure that US roads and bridges are sound...

The federal government is bad because it...pays huge sums of taxpayer money to maintain US military forces fighting two-plus wars far away from US soil...

Wait...why is it a good thing to cripple the federal government?

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Harte

I hate to tell you this, but any solution to the problem of our debt is going to include higher taxes - for everyone. Arguing against it on a constant basis is actually what is not even a tiny baby step towards a solution.

I wasn't aware that I was arguing particularly against it.

Freezing or cutting, or even eliminating, discretionary spending is not going to produce a solution either. Confiscating every penny of income above 250K won't do it either.

As you say, it's gonna take higher revenue and far less spending.

That means entitlements. Hence, it's not a good idea to poke fun at the Conservatives for raising the issue (such as was done in another thread concerning how the majority of people don't want to cut medicare - phrased as " 70% of Tea Partiers Don't Want Medicare Cuts!")

And that's why I said kudos to them for broaching the topic.

Hasrte

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Wookietim

I wasn't aware that I was arguing particularly against it.

Freezing or cutting, or even eliminating, discretionary spending is not going to produce a solution either. Confiscating every penny of income above 250K won't do it either.

As you say, it's gonna take higher revenue and far less spending.

That means entitlements. Hence, it's not a good idea to poke fun at the Conservatives for raising the issue (such as was done in another thread concerning how the majority of people don't want to cut medicare - phrased as " 70% of Tea Partiers Don't Want Medicare Cuts!")

And that's why I said kudos to them for broaching the topic.

Hasrte

First off, nobody is suggesting "Confiscating every penny of income above 250K" so that is a straw man argument that makes no sense. Second, eliminating spending is going to have to be done. But I might suggest that eliminating spending that actually helps people (Planed Parenthood, for example, or funding for education as another example) while handing tax cuts to the rich and then rubbing salt in that wound and giving subsidies to companies like Exxon (That just made the second highest profits in human history the year after it became number one on that list) is perhaps not the way to go.

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Harte

First off, nobody is suggesting "Confiscating every penny of income above 250K" so that is a straw man argument that makes no sense.

It wasn't an argument. Chill.

I wasn't saying that you or anyone was advocating for that. I was making the very valid point that even increasing taxation to it's theoretical limit - all income above 250K (for couples) confiscated - wouldn't solve the problem.

Second, eliminating spending is going to have to be done. But I might suggest that eliminating spending that actually helps people (Planed Parenthood, for example, or funding for education as another example) while handing tax cuts to the rich and then rubbing salt in that wound and giving subsidies to companies like Exxon (That just made the second highest profits in human history the year after it became number one on that list) is perhaps not the way to go.

Enough. You don't actually care about these people that are being helped. If you did, you'd see that we can continue to help them if we ensure we will have the ability to continue to help them. You just love to go off on some political rant. Whatever.

When the US defaults, FAR more people will be in need of help - you and I included - and there will BE no help for us.

Done with you.

Harte

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Wookietim

Enough. You don't actually care about these people that are being helped. If you did, you'd see that we can continue to help them if we ensure we will have the ability to continue to help them. You just love to go off on some political rant. Whatever.

When the US defaults, FAR more people will be in need of help - you and I included - and there will BE no help for us.

Done with you.

Harte

Well, then, I guess I hit a nerve. It's kind of hard to claim you want to "Help" these people by ending every program that helps them and then handing tax cuts to the rich. Point blank, that math doesn't work at all. At all.

So you can be done with me all you want, but you know that your logic doesn't work.

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rashore

I still think closing loopholes is a better answer than raising taxes in general. Instead of raising the taxes of the rich, say, 3%.. Why not just close up the loopholes so they can't squirm out of what they already owe? This article is the sort of thing I'm talking about. I know the article is about corporations instead of private taxes, but it still applies. Why raise the tax on the rich in general if only some rich are squirming out of what they owe? Even if a blanket raise on the rich did work.. For the ones not paying correctly, even if the taxes were raised, they would still just keep using the loopholes to avoid those raised taxes too. Why should the rich actually paying their taxes correctly have to pay more to cover for those not paying correctly?

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