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The W - Current Events & Politics - Bush's tax cuts
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wordlife
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Since: 4.4.03

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58554-2004Nov17.html


W wants to eliminate tax on investments, dividends and interest. He also wants to eliminate the Estate Tax (which is only paid by the wealthiest 2% in the country). He then plans to eliminate the deduction for individuals for state income taxes and real estate taxes. He then plans to eliminate the deduction for health insurance premiums. He calls these a "revenue-neutral" point. He also plans to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (which was a tax that was enacted to help the rich pay their fair share, but has started to effect the middle class due to not being adjusted for inflation).

All I can say is, everything here benefits the upper class and pushes more of the burden on the middle class for taxes. I mean how many people on this board are that rich that this break will mean a helluva lot to them? Honestly, my guess is a lot of you guys will get less back b/c you will not have those deductions as Itemized Deductions anymore.

The Estate Tax is a HUUUUUUGE money maker for our country. I wish I had exact figures but it brings in billions each year.

Somebody pointed out on another board I was reading that if your mom/dad have money and you just live off of that, you will never have to pay another tax in your life. Is that really fair?



(edited by wordlife on 18.11.04 1559)



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fuelinjected
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Since: 12.10.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
Of course it will hurt the middle class but if they voted for a second-term Republican President, they really have no place to complain, IMO.

Personally, I've never had a problem with paying more taxes when I make more money because its necessary for the capitalist system to thrive and sustain itself. Otherwise, it becomes increasingly harder for anyone move up classes.



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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.64
It would be one thing if taxes were a level playing field. But the fact that the rich DO have a higher tax burden make the whole "tax cuts for the rich" argument kind of mute.

Take the estate tax. You yourself said that this is a tax only paid by the wealthiest 2% of the country. Why do THEY deserve to have that tax when the rest of us aren't subject to it? How is that fair, exactly?

The Estate tax amounts to double taxation. Period. It should be eliminated. I can understand there is a great deal of "class envy" directed towards people who have more means, but this doesn't mean that the government should punish them by never cutting their taxes, and never raising yours.

Just because you make less, does not mean that you shouldn't have a tax burden. The rich pay the vast majority of taxes in both whole numbers and percentage wise. The rich pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Yes, they have more loopholes and ways around income tax because of their spending power, but they are also subject to more specific taxes than you and I.

THEY MAKE MORE MONEY. Absolutely any tax cut that affects us a little will be greatly magnified for people in that tax bracket. It isn't unfair - it is math. They pay more in, so when taxes are cut, they should get more out. THAT is fair.

That being said - I really wish these tax cuts came along with a reduction in federal spending. I don't vote for Republicans to see the federal budget balloon with social programs...

(edited by Pool-Boy on 18.11.04 1642)


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Since: 2.1.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
So, only "rich" people are affected by the dividend tax?

Private-sector money fuels the economy. Less taxation --> more money --> more growth/jobs.

Furthermore, the government is taking in more than enough money to run this country. What do you think is going to happen if - gasp! the country takes in slightly less money?



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fuelinjected
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Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    So, only "rich" people are affected by the dividend tax?

    Private-sector money fuels the economy. Less taxation --> more money --> more growth/jobs.

    Furthermore, the government is taking in more than enough money to run this country. What do you think is going to happen if - gasp! the country takes in slightly less money?


Taking in less money isn't going to help pay for all of Bush's excessive spending.



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rockstar
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Since: 2.1.02
From: East TN

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.16
"Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich-and Cheat Everyone Else" by David Cay Johnston is a book I'm hoping to find at the library so I can read it next week while I've got the free time.

Here are a couple of interviews with the author: Booknotes (C-Span) and democracynow.com (sounds like some crazy Socialist group's website). Very interesting reads.

Johnson is a registered Republican and it seems like his interest is in exposing the tax system for the sham that is, being that the middle class is footing the bill for everyone.

    Originally posted by David Johnson via Booknotes
    Most people believe that the higher your income, the greater the share of your income you pay in taxes, and that those who are the most successful provide benefits for those who don`t do as well. And what I show in the book is something it was astonishing to me to learn. In fact, I hired a graduate student in economics to doublecheck all of the findings. And that is that the middle class and the upper middle class, people making $50,000 to $500,000 a year, actually subsidize the richest people in America now. This was not historically true, but they do now.

    The IRS just today came out this morning with new statistical tables on income for the year 2001. And on the way over here, I was calculating, and the 6,800 American who make more than $10 million a year pay a smaller percentage of their income, 25 percent, in federal income taxes, than people who make $400,000 to $500,000 a year. And when you add in Social Security taxes, people making $70,000 to $80,000 a year are paying a larger share of their income to the federal government than people who make $10 million a year or more


Seems contrary to most Republican barking points.

(edited by rockstar on 18.11.04 2207)


EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
Regardless of how you view the estate tax and the dividend tax, there's no way cutting the deduction for state income taxes and health insurance premiums can be viewed as anything other than a tax increase that effects everyone. I think I only pay a few hundred dollars a year in state/local taxes, but its nice to get that back in check form around May. I would have to imagine this will affect people with less income even more.

(edited by EddieBurkett on 18.11.04 2248)


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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
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    Originally posted by fuelinjected
      Originally posted by PalpatineW
      So, only "rich" people are affected by the dividend tax?

      Private-sector money fuels the economy. Less taxation --> more money --> more growth/jobs.

      Furthermore, the government is taking in more than enough money to run this country. What do you think is going to happen if - gasp! the country takes in slightly less money?


    Taking in less money isn't going to help pay for all of Bush's excessive spending.


Problem is, that's the idea. Starving the beast REALLY worked well the past four years, no?



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Since: 2.1.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00


    Originally posted by rockstar
    And that is that the middle class and the upper middle class, people making $50,000 to $500,000 a year, actually subsidize the richest people in America now.


The definition of terms here is so vague. I suspect that to most Bush opponents, those making $500,000 ARE the wealthiest Americans. I further suspect that those making over $50,000 will earn the ire of some Bush opponents, but that's neither here nor there.

The top 20% of earners pay over 60% of total taxes. It. Is. Not. Unfair. To. The. Less-rich.



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Since: 11.7.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by wordlife
    He also wants to eliminate the Estate Tax (which is only paid by the wealthiest 2% in the country).
You mean the estate tax that affects every privately held small business that is passed down from generation to generation? The one that forces thousands of businesses a year to close their doors forever? The tax that forces family farmers to sell their land to corporate farmers?

The Estate Tax is patently unfair and double taxation. That's why the Democrats love it so much.

    Originally posted by wordlife
    All I can say is, everything here benefits the upper class and pushes more of the burden on the middle class for taxes. I mean how many people on this board are that rich that this break will mean a helluva lot to them? Honestly, my guess is a lot of you guys will get less back b/c you will not have those deductions as Itemized Deductions anymore.
One day, Democrats will learn basic economics.

    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    Taking in less money isn't going to help pay for all of Bush's excessive spending.
That is a completely seperate problem that I wish somebody in the Republican party in Washington would do something about.




wordlife
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Since: 4.4.03

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
No question that the rich have somewhat of a burden in paying taxes. But is it really fair to cut a deduction which is mostly geared to the middle class homeowner? I disagree on that. I mean most of your higher income taxpayers end up being phased out of a portion of these deductions. This is taking more money out of the economy that would be spent on clothes, food, travel, etc. Honestly, if he wants to cut the amount of tax on investments, set up a system where something like the first 1000 in interest/dividend income is not taxed, while the rest is taxed at regular rates. Figuring the guy is making 500,000, that 1000 exemption at the highest tax rate would be about 400 bucks.

Does the estate tax need to be overhauled? Absolutely, after posting this article with my thoughts, I thought about some of the things that have been stated here. There should be some sort of protective measure for small business and farmers. To my knowledge, they have started to institute laws to protect small family held businesses. However, am I supposed to feel bad for someone like Bloomberg's daughter who gets 50 million in lieu of 80 million? It's still a ton of money that she will probably never be able to spend in a lifetime.If he eliminates this tax, where will the money come from to supplement the loss?

Right now, W has a huge deficit (which he has increased no less). My economics background is strong enough Grimis that you can't survive if you spend more than you bring in, which is exactly what W is planning on doing.

Grimis, this is not being a Democrat or Republican, this is just basic economics.

(edited by wordlife on 19.11.04 0632)



"I know a great deal about the Middle East because I've been raising Arabian horses for over 20 years, I've researched the culture for most of my life."--Patrick Swayze on Iraq


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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by wordlife
    My economics background is strong enough Grimis that you can't survive if you spend more than you bring in, which is exactly what W is planning on doing.
And that part I don't disagree with. But we have to deal with both of them as seperate issues even if they are interconnected.

The unbalanced tax structure "that the Democrats refer to as "Progressive") is designed to milk the cow of the bankbooks of the middle and upper classes for more and more tax dollars without considering the fact that higher taxes often reduces the the amount of income. They make less, spend less, etc. There is a series of economic events that occur when taxes are raised. Usually, tax revenues are increased when we have lower, flatter taxes.

As far as spending goes? Yes, Bush is screwing up royally.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Usually, tax revenues are increased when we have lower, flatter taxes.

    As far as spending goes? Yes, Bush is screwing up royally.

You mean like in the 90's, after Clinton's tax plan that was supposed to bankrupt us and send us into a depression like we had in the 30's?



Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.68
    Originally posted by rockstar
    Johnson is a registered Republican and it seems like his interest is in exposing the tax system for the sham that is, being that the middle class is footing the bill for everyone.

      Originally posted by David Johnson via Booknotes
      Most people believe that the higher your income, the greater the share of your income you pay in taxes, and that those who are the most successful provide benefits for those who don`t do as well. And what I show in the book is something it was astonishing to me to learn. In fact, I hired a graduate student in economics to doublecheck all of the findings. And that is that the middle class and the upper middle class, people making $50,000 to $500,000 a year, actually subsidize the richest people in America now. This was not historically true, but they do now.

      The IRS just today came out this morning with new statistical tables on income for the year 2001. And on the way over here, I was calculating, and the 6,800 American who make more than $10 million a year pay a smaller percentage of their income, 25 percent, in federal income taxes, than people who make $400,000 to $500,000 a year. And when you add in Social Security taxes, people making $70,000 to $80,000 a year are paying a larger share of their income to the federal government than people who make $10 million a year or more


    Seems contrary to most Republican barking points.

    (edited by rockstar on 18.11.04 2207)


I saw this post and thought that Johnson's numbers were interesting but that I should check them out. So, I went to the irs tax stats page (http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/article/0,,id=96981,00.html) and downloaded the Excel report of taxes paid by income level (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/02in02tl.xls) to double check. First, these are the 2002 numbers because I didn't realize he was using 2001 data until I had already crunched some numbers. But, I don't think things have changed radically since 2001. Feel free to double check that using the 2001 tables, however.

Here is what I found (note that percentages may vary slightly due to rounding; I did not round when making my calculations): People making more than $10 million filed 5,309 tax returns (0.004% of all returns filed), earned an aggregate $114 billion in adjusted gross income (2.8% of AGI reported), paid income taxes of $33.7 billion (4.2% of all income taxes paid) for an income tax rate of 29.7%.

In comparision, People making from $50 - 500 thousand filed 36,975,824 tax returns (28.4% of all returns filed), earned an aggregate $2.5 trillion in adjusted gross income (62.7% of AGI reported), paid income taxes of $495 billion (62.2% of all income taxes paid) for an income tax rate of 19.3%.

Then, I thought that I should see what happens when all direct taxes paid are included. After doing this, the total taxes paid by people >$10 million rose slightly to $34.6 billion for a total tax rate of 30.4% while those between $50 and $500 thousand paid $569 billion for a tax rate of 22.2% (closer but still not that close).

Again, I am using the 2002 data, but I don't see how things could have changed so dramatically over 2001. As far as hiring a graduate student in economics to check his findings, any decent graduate student in economics could have the data show whatever you want it to show. Maybe hiring a graduate student to do fact checking passes muster at the NYT, but it wouldn't hold in any type of serious tax policy analysis.

EDIT: I made the NYT reference because the guy writes for the NYT (according to the booknotes interview).

(edited by Corajudo on 19.11.04 1236)
Zeruel
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Since: 2.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Grimis
    You mean the estate tax that affects every privately held small business that is passed down from generation to generation? The one that forces thousands of businesses a year to close their doors forever? The tax that forces family farmers to sell their land to corporate farmers?


I've never heard any of that before. Cite your sources. I'd like to read what you've read about it.

I disagree about small businesses. In a sole proprietorship, the business dissolves upon the death or incapacitation of the owner. I

f you mean a small partnership, same thing. When one partner leaves, the partnership dissolves, or they follow the partnership agreement regarding someone taking over one's partnership. Now that could be open to taxes.




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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.28
Family farmers are forced to sell out to factory farmers because factory farmers have no financial responsability for the pollution they cause, because communities have no way of stopping factory farmers from coming in, because factory farmers have no responsabilities to the animals they keep.

Because organic milk companies can't put "non genetically-engineered" on their milk without getting suid by factory farms.

Because politicans listen to the Farm Bureau and Tyson over the Farmers Union.

Because, in short, factory farms aren't held accountable for the damage they cause by people who support capitalism over morals. If you want to protect family farms, you gotta change some of the practices of your party, Grimis.



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Since: 11.11.02
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Messenoir, you're arguing somewhat peripheral to the issue. The fact is that the wonderful family farm put asunder and dissolved by the predatory heartless bureaucratic Estate Tax is a wonderful story and a great talking point. But, like Reagan's Welfare Queen (who was somehow bilking the government out of hundreds of thousands per year), it's a great story that, try as they might, no one has yet been able to come up with a factual example of.


    The effect of the estate tax on farms has been exaggerated.
    According to the IRS, of the 2.3 million people who died in 1998, only 642 left farm assets equal to at least half the total estate. In 2001, the New York Times reported that the pro-repeal American Farm Bureau Foundation could not cite a single case of a family farm lost due to the estate tax.

    Many of the wealthiest "farmers" aren’t really farmers at all.
    A significant number of the “farmers” who would benefit from estate tax repeal are actually city-dwellers who own a ranch or horse farm as a vacation getaway.

    The special estate tax rules that apply to family farms ought to be simplified.
    To limit estate tax liability, farmers can currently value farmland at between 45% and 75% of its fair market price. Farmers can also pay back estate taxes over 14 years. Simplifying these rules would provide relief for modest estates and reduce the need for planning and legal manuever-ing, while making sure that the wealthiest estates still pay their fair share.

http://www.faireconomy.org/estatetax/ETFarms.html


And there's more here:

    * Farms and family-owned business assets account for less than four percent of all assets in taxable estates valued at less than $5 million. Only a small fraction of the estate tax is paid on the value of farms and small family businesses.

    * Family-owned businesses and farms are eligible for special treatment under current law, including a higher exemption. The total exemption for most estates that include a family-owned business is $1.3 million in 2001, rather than $675,000. A couple can exempt up to $2.6 million of an estate that includes a family-owned business or farm.

    * Still another feature of current law allows deferral of estate tax payments for up to 14 years when the value of a family-owned business or farm accounts for at least 35 percent of an estate, with interest charged at rates substantially below market rates.

    * Claims that family-owned businesses have to be liquidated to pay estate taxes imply that most of the value of the estate is tied up in the businesses. But businesses or farms constitute the majority of the assets in very few estates that include family-owned businesses or farms. A Treasury Department analysis of data for 1998 shows that in only 776 of the 47,482 estates that were taxable that year — or just 1.6 percent of taxable estates — did family-owned businesses assets (such as closely held stock, non-corporate businesses, or partnerships) equal at least half of the gross estate. In only 642 estates — 1.4 percent of the taxable estates — did farm assets, or farm assets and farm real estate, equal at least half of the gross estate.

    * Furthermore, the law can easily be changed to exempt from the estate tax a substantially larger amount of assets, including those related to family-owned farms or businesses, and this can be done without repealing or making other sweeping changes in the estate tax. When the Senate considered the estate tax last year, the Democrats offered a substitute that would have raised the exemption for a family-owned business to $8 million for a couple, effectively exempting almost all family-owned farms and three-quarters of family-owned businesses from the estate tax.

http://www.cbpp.org/5-25-00tax.htm


And there's stuff here:
http://democrats.senate.gov/~dpc/pubs/107-2-176.html

And just let me repeat my favorite part of that link here:

    Despite the fact that the argument has been made over and over again for years, no one has found an example of a farm that was lost because of estate taxes. Last year, a New York Times article cited the unsuccessful search of an Iowa farm economist for one family farm that was lost because of the estate tax. That same April 2001 article notes that the American Farm Bureau Federation could not cite a single example.


(Hey, if others can get away with just rewriting Heritage Foundation talking points and passing them off as unquestionable truth, I'm gonna quote me some Democrats. Of course, no source is unimpeachable. I just felt like using the words of the loyal opposition here.)

(edited by Jeb Tennyson Lund on 20.11.04 1315)


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