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September 20, 2011

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bgates

Their share of all pre-tax income went from 37.5 percent in 2001 to 42 percent in 2007

In that time, they invented the iPhone, made the film "Master and Commander", and created jobs for something like eight million other Americans, among other things. Why shouldn't their share of income increase? They're making life better for more people than anyone else.

Extraneus

Law firms representing Solyndra executives are major Democratic donors

Benjamin Franklin

" and created jobs for something like eight million other Americans,"

Uh, ONE million net jobs after the job losses (Recession began Dec 2007)

Captain Hate

I think we can all agree that Warren Buffett is a cheap prick to his secretary and a tax bum on the same level as Chollie Rangel.

MayBee

Maybe we could pass a law where the millionaire can't actually keep more of his income than the secretary can keep of hers.

Danube of Thought

The secretary should make exactly the same as Buffett does. After all, they're both children of God, and contribute equally to society, each in their own way.

Appalled

Ben:

You increase the rate on millionaires, you increase the migration of money to Switzerland, Bermuda, and the Caymans. You also increase the willingness for someone to make the bulk of their $$ someplace else.

Danube of Thought

People lost jobs in the recession because of the collapse of the housing bubble, and the people who had created the eight million jobs had nothing to do with that. George Bush also had nothing to do with it and had no constitutional power to avert it.

But these undeniable facts depend upon a sophisticated analysis, which makes them out of bounds in many quarters today.

Ignatz

I suspect Ben just had an epiphany.
He did some math, not involving negative numbers fortunately, and found out millionaires really do take home more money and pay more taxes than secretaries. And it only took him two posts to figure it out.

Benjamin Franklin

"You increase the rate on millionaires, you increase the migration of money to Switzerland, Bermuda, and the Caymans. You also increase the willingness for someone to make the bulk of their $$ someplace else."

Really? They are 'suddenly'' going to go "offshore"?

Gee, we should re-think this. (sorry for the snark)

Danube of Thought

A fundamental fiscal deception, explained.

Danube of Thought

Really? They are 'suddenly'' going to go "offshore"?

One needs to be able to think about what happens at the margins. Many have gone offshore. Increase rates, and some who have not yet done so will.

Jane

The sheer malfeasance surrounding Solyndra will unfortunately create a very steep hill for subsequent renewable projects to climb,” one Insider said.

Except there is a pile of money that has to be spent by Friday on such nonsense or lost, so look for a ton more waste.

I have no idea why we can't stop it.

I think the 50% of Americans who pay no taxes should pay their fair share. They are the ones gobbling up all the assets.

Benjamin Franklin

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2011/09/irs-says-12000-tax-cheats-have-come-forward-under-program/

Is this form of 'Amnesty' one you could support?

glasater

I've recently read that Buffet's secretary makes 60k a year.
Figured he was cheap but that's ridiculous.

Extraneus

I think the 50% of Americans who pay no taxes should pay their fair share.

Hear hear. They get the same roads & bridges, national defense, and more hand-outs than taxpayers do.

harrjf

Folks BF is right. 650,000 divided by 12 is more than 52,000 divided by 12. Get out your calculators and check. I did. Never mind he through out the terms "AGI" and "monthly take home pay". Any argument is invalid.

harrjf

Time for someone to ask him a direct question and have him disappear.

Appalled

Ben:

Tax amensties are fine, and this one was successful because one of the Swiss Banks started cooperating with Treasury. But it does not solve the problem that a rate increase encourages more people to offshore their earnings, or try to hide it, or make icreased use of the oddities of the tax code to keep their money.

jimmyk

Another way this millionaire tax is completely idiotic becomes clear if we take the example of someone who puts all his wealth in muni bonds. Say someone has $40M in tax-free muni bonds earning 2.5%. So he's getting $1M/year tax free. Obama says people like this have to pay at least, what, 15% in taxes. Consider the following scenario: He dumps his muni bond holdings in favor of some other kind of investment with a higher after-tax return; the muni bond market tanks, sharply increasing the costs of borrowing for cities, because thousands of others do the same. Those who held munis suffer a large (possibly deductible?) capital loss.

Of course I'm sure he's thought through all this, genius that he is.

Benjamin Franklin


http://thenextweb.com/eu/2011/01/17/wikileaks-receives-details-of-mass-offshore-tax-evasion-could-be-released-within-weeks/


"A Swiss whistleblower has handed documents, which he claims contain details of widescale tax evasion, to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a press conference in London this morning.

The documents are said to contain details of wealthy individuals and organisations from the US, Europe and Asia who are using the secretive nature of the Swiss banking system’s offshore Cayman Islands accounts to avoid paying tax in their native countries.

The data has been handed to WikiLeaks by Rudolf Elmer, a former Swiss banker who previously handed a much smaller cache of banking data to Assange’s organisation in 2008. Elmer told The Observer yesterday that “Once you become part of senior management and gain international experience, as I did, then you are part of the inner circle – and things become much clearer. You are part of the plot. You know what the real products and service are, and why they are so expensive. It should be no surprise that the main product is secrecy … Crimes are committed and lies spread in order to protect this secrecy.”

Don’t expect any juicy secrets about well-known celebrities to come out of this new release – at least not yet. Elmer told the press conference that he “Wants to expose the system not the individuals.” Wikileaks reportedly told Elmer that naming names was the wrong focus and that instead it was important to examine the system that allows such tax evasion."

Thank you, Wikileaks...

Danube of Thought

Here's a direct question: what is the appropriate proportion of the total personal income tax for the top 10% of earners to pay? (The Swedish answer would be 49.75%.)

One good thing about Obama's proposal is that in the coming months the public will learn a great deal that it needs to know about tax incidence in this country. Dana has learned a lot in recent days, and he seems a bit flustered about it.

pagar

"I think the 50% of Americans who pay no taxes should pay their fair share."

IMO, many of them can't because their union leaders have stolen the money.

http://biggovernment.com/publius/2011/09/21/chicago-gives-huge-pension-perks-to-union-leaders-23-will-collect-56-million/#idc-cover

Extraneus

Excellent point. Obama could claim his greatest public service by motivating people to learn what's in Table 1 at this Tax Foundation site. Maybe the "Law Professor" could then inspire the public to move on to the other tables.

Dave (in MA)

DoT:

People lost jobs in the recession because of the collapse of the housing bubble, and the people who had created the eight million jobs had nothing to do with that. George Bush also had nothing to do with it and had no constitutional power to avert it.
Bush in 2002 at a Conference of Minority Homeownership":
To open up the doors of homeownership there are some barriers, and I want to talk about four that need to be overcome. First, down payments. A lot of folks can't make a down payment. They may be qualified. They may desire to buy a home, but they don't have the money to make a down payment. I think if you were to talk to a lot of families that are desirous to have a home, they would tell you that the down payment is the hurdle that they can't cross. And one way to address that is to have the federal government participate.

And so we've called upon Congress to set up what's called the American Dream Down Payment Fund, which will provide financial grants to local governments to help first-time home buyers who qualify to make the down payment on their home. If a down payment is a problem, there's a way we can address that. And when Congress funds the program, this should help 200,000 new families over the next five years become first-time home buyers.

He collaborated with the left in creating this mess. "Compassionate Conservatism" (AKA liberalism) at work.

Rob Crawford

Well, since in the US that proportion is higher than anywhere else in the world, what, exactly, does Mr. Noah want to see?

Chains.

Benjamin Franklin

Considering their history and their recent admissions regarding their 'training' methods, this doesn't seem unreasonable.,


http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/09/the-co-chair-of-the-congressional-inquiry-into-911-and-former-head-of-the-senate-intelligence-committee-calls-for-a-new-911-investigation.html

Today, Graham called for a new 9/11 investigation. As Raw Story notes:

Graham on Monday called on the U.S. government to reopen its investigation into 9/11 after a report found that links between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers were never disclosed by the FBI to the 2002 joint Congressional intelligence committee investigating the attacks.

“In the final report of the congressional inquiry, there was a chapter related primarily to the Saudi role in 9/11 that was totally censored, every word of the chapter has been withheld from the public,” Graham said on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show.

“Some of the other questions we ought to be asking are if we know that the Saudis who lived in San Diego and now apparently in Sarasota received substantial assistance, what about the Saudis who lived in Phoenix, Arizona? Or Arlington, Virginia? … What was happening in those places?”

“I believe these are questions for which there are definitive answers, but the American people and largely their elected representatives have been denied that information.”

cathyf

Somebody posted this tax policy center link earlier. It shows very clearly that the US has a progressive tax system which is a nice smooth progression, with no funny kinks, and that higher income people pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. In other words, Buffett and Obama are both lying.

People, stop arguing about whether progressive taxation is a good or bad policy. We have a progressive tax system, and there is broad political support for progressive taxation. Sure people want to argue about little details of this or that and how the function should exactly bend around, yada yada ya, but that is just getting sucked into the class warfare.

Look, if the tea party movement is going to succeed, we need to stick laserlike to the focus that everyone is Taxed Enough Already. The single answer to "We have to raise taxes on the rich" needs to be "EVERYBODY is Taxed Enough Already; we have to cut spending!" Coming back with constructs like, "we need tax cuts for the rich and tax hikes for the poor" is just going to get democrats/kleptocrats/Chicagoans elected.

Danube of Thought

Bush does indeed share some of the blame for that Act. However, he later led the way, beginning in 2003, to create a super-regulator over Fannie and Freddie but was rebuffed by the congress (recall the familiar Barney Frank videos).

Clarice

Cecil, Cecil, math is sooo hard. Even for Pitzer's leading light.

I just got back from the luncheon for Josh Mandel, who is challenging Sherrod Brown..what a great guy..fantastic. Support him in every way you can esp those from Ahia.

pagar

cathyf, Amen!

"The single answer to "We have to raise taxes on the rich" needs to be "EVERYBODY is Taxed Enough Already; we have to cut spending!"

Danube of Thought

The lesson continues:

"In 2010, according to the TPC, Americans in the lowest quintile of income-earners — the bottom 20 percent — paid minus-3.8 percent of the total federal income tax burden. In other words, they got more back, in income tax credits and the like, than they paid in. Similarly, those in the second quintile paid minus-4.3 percent of the total federal income tax burden — so they, too, weren’t paying into the income tax till but rather were taking out. 

"Those in the middle quintile — pretty much the center of the middle class (this quintile had an average income of $44,000) — paid 3.9 percent of the total federal income tax burden (about $1 of every $25 dollars in income taxes paid nationwide). And those in the fourth quintile — whose income ranged from $58,000 to $102,000 — paid 15.1 percent of the total federal income tax burden. 

"So, all told, the 80 percent of Americans whose income placed them in one of these first four quintiles of income-earners combined to pay 10.9 percent of the total federal income tax burden. Put otherwise, this 80 percent of the citizenry paid about $1 out of every $9 that was paid in federal income taxes nationwide.

"Meanwhile, Americans in the highest 0.1 percent of all income-earners — these are the very rich, with incomes of at least $1.974 million — paid 16.4 percent of the totalfederal tax burden. Essentially, one out of every $6 paid in federal income tax was paid by this 0.1 percent of the citizenry. 

"In other words, the top 0.1 percent paid more toward the workings of government than the bottom 80 percent did. That’s despite the fact that the bottom 80 percent collectively made more than six times as much money as the top 0.1 percent did. "

centralcal

Opie (okay, Ron Howard) thinks the "rich" should be taxed 90%, like the good old days when he was the pretend son of a sheriff in a make believe town called Mayberry. I see he is as bright as his pretend Dad (really old and senile now, Andy) is.

Benjamin Franklin

"the middle class (this quintile had an average income of $44,000) — paid 3.9 percent of the total federal income tax burden (about $1 of every $25 dollars in income taxes paid nationwide). And those in the fourth quintile — whose income ranged from $58,000 to $102,000 — paid 15.1 percent of the total federal income tax burden. "

So, if the secretary has Soros reduce her income by $16,000, she'll
save.......wait......lose more money.

What the Hell. Put me in the top bracket...WIn !

Danube of Thought

"So, if the secretary has Soros reduce her income by $16,000, she'll
save.......wait......lose more money."

That's a pretty good rule of thumb, Dana: when your salary gets cut, you end up with less money. (See? This stuff isn't so hard after all.)

But what does Soros have to do with this?

MarkO

I suppose we could have a discussion on the marginal utility of the dollar, but Obama couldn't be part of it.

The effect on capital gains tax receipt if we were to double the rate seems to me not to have been fully addressed. Ben-Dana clearly will not have that in mind. It has been deceptive of Obama to suggest that income rates and capital gains rates are to be deemed as representing the same sort of drag on a taxpayer. If he really wants to end serious investment in this country, he can double the rate which will make other avenues of wealth much more attractive to people with money.

The current discussions on air, cable and most blogs is simply nothing but sloganeering. My slogan is,"He's just not that smart and he's a liar." Vote for me.

Danube of Thought

Bubba weighs in:

The Republicans are having fun with this one: Bill Clinton says the economy doesn't need higher taxes right now.

"I personally don't believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending until we get this economy off the ground," Clinton told the Newsmax website. "If we cut government spending, which I normally would be very inclined to do when the deficit's this big, with interest rates already near zero you can't get the benefits out of it."

This quote comes just days after Obama proposed more tax revenues from the wealthy to help pay down the nation's $14.5 trillion-plus debt.

Benjamin Franklin

Bubba see's FHOTUS in his scrying mirror.

Ignatz

--Opie (okay, Ron Howard) thinks the "rich" should be taxed 90%--

Yeah, I see lots of guys with hundreds of millions and billions of dollars already squirreled away quite anxious to impose higher taxes on couples making $250,000 or so and even then probably only for a few short years.

Danube of Thought

If the cap gain rate is raised now, no one who has any choice in the matter will realize a single capital gain before 2013. They will simply hope for a new president and a new congress.

Clarice

DoT, Taranto was marvelous yesterday on how Clinton has consistently given Obama the worst advice--frenemies.

Extraneus

He was good today, too.

The Five Million Dollar Man

Union jobs, however, are far more lucrative than city jobs. Gannon's city salary was $56,000 a year; his union salary, $200,000. But he retired from his city job in 2004--at age 50, and 13 years after beginning a leave of absence. Between then and 2010, when he retired from the union, he collected both the $200,000 union salary and a $150,000 city pension.

How did the city end up paying him a pension nearly three times his salary? That's where things get interesting. Few labor leaders took city pensions, the Tribune reports, "until the law was changed in 1991 to base those workers' city pensions on their union salaries instead of their old city paychecks, dramatically boosting the amount they could receive"--a provision that "became law with no public debate among state legislators and, more importantly, no cost analysis."

Sweet deal!

Dana Ward

I just want those hook-nosed New York moneymen to pay their fair share. I will never understand why the poverty-level pawns here keep defending these traitors.

History has shown that they're a cancer on every society they infest.

Army of Davids

I don't suspect Bill Clinton will ever forget the race card games that were played against him in South Carolina by the Obama camp.

Like any good politician he (and Hillary) smiled right through it. It may have been effective for Obama but don't doubt for a moment Clinton won't find strategic ways for payback.

If you haven't noticed he's been all over the media and one noticeable statement he's made of late is to say that taxes should not be raised right now. While I'm sure Senate Democrats are glad to have some political cover by the Clintons.... I read it as a direct power play to weaken Obama.

Why would Bill say something like that right now?

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