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Debates Forum

  1. 20 Sep '11 14:49
    http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-rich-taxed-less-secretaries-070642868.html

    You decide.... I pay no taxes..
  2. 20 Sep '11 15:05
    There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service.


    How do they manage that? Sheesh, talk about loopholes...
  3. 20 Sep '11 15:23
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-rich-taxed-less-secretaries-070642868.html

    You decide.... I pay no taxes..
    If we're going to debate the "Buffett-rule", shouldn't Warren Buffett's secretary's tax return be made public? And Warren Buffett's? Honesty is rarely a strong point for politicians (including Obama). And even if it is somehow techically true that Buffett's secretary pays a higher tax rate than Buffett, perhaps there is something atypical about her?him that would change our perspective if we knew. (e.g. the Secretary's spous makes $500,000 and as a result her?his taxes are marginally taxed at the highest rate. Note: this is just an example, not an assertion).

    I find it a little hard to believe that an ordinary secretary pays a higher tax rate than Buffett. At the very least, if we're supposed to conjure up outrage and make radical changes from this, we should be able to see the details.
  4. 20 Sep '11 15:25
    http://townhall.com/columnists/monacharen/2011/09/20/im_for_the_rich
  5. 20 Sep '11 15:26
    Originally posted by techsouth
    If we're going to debate the "Buffett-rule", shouldn't Warren Buffett's secretary's tax return be made public? And Warren Buffett's? Honesty is rarely a strong point for politicians (including Obama). And even if it is somehow techically true that Buffett's secretary pays a higher tax rate than Buffett, perhaps there is something atypical about her?him ...[text shortened]... e up outrage and make radical changes from this, we should be able to see the details.
    Much of Buffett's income is from capital gains, which is taxed at a low rate.
  6. 20 Sep '11 15:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service.


    How do they manage that? Sheesh, talk about loopholes...
    Humm?
    A thouand pictures can be made from one word, but who is the artist, we have to agree...lol
  7. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    20 Sep '11 15:28
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-rich-taxed-less-secretaries-070642868.html

    You decide.... I pay no taxes..
    Interesting data here from the IRS on the top 400 returns in gross income: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08intop400.pdf

    If you go to page 10, you'll see that the very highest earners paid an average rate of only 18.11% in federal income tax in 2008 (the last year figures are available). As recently as 1995, that rate was 29.93%.

    Of course, high income earners under the top 400 have seen similar decreases in their rate of taxation over the same period.

    The next time the right wingers here start screaming about how the rich pay 79% or some such absurd number pulled out of their collective a**es of their income in taxes, please have this chart available.
  8. 20 Sep '11 15:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Much of Buffett's income is from capital gains, which is taxed at a low rate.
    I think we're all aware of the basic theory here. It is the glossing over of details that is the issue. Furthermore, how do we know that the proposed tax code changes would even make a difference for Buffett? Do we take his word for it?

    For those not familiar with US tax codes, long term capital gains are taxed at a maximum rate of 15%, where as short term (held less than one year) capital gains are treated as regular income.

    Assuming Buffett has a lot of long term capital gains, that still doesn't help bring his tax rate below 15%.

    Everyone is entitled to take a standard deduction, which means the first several thousand dollars are tax free. Also, everyone can claim themselves as an "exemption", which is a few more thousand of tax free income. For married people, the first $69 or so thousand AFTER these exemptions are taxed at either 10% or 15%. So for a marrried person, it is not until you reach around $80,000 (assuming no mortgage deduction) do you start exceeding 15% marginal tax rates. And then, you have to get a bit higher before your "average" tax rate exceeds 15%. These numbers only get higher if you have kids, give to charity, have a mortgage, contribute to an IRA, etc. I think the public should know the details of Buffett and his secretary if Buffett's secretary is held up as an example of the need to change the tax code.

    Are we to assume that 100% of Buffett's income is long term capital gains? I say not if that is what we're basing sweeping legislation on.

    Presumably, Buffett is using other avenues for lowering his tax rate. There are some cases of tax free bonds, for example. Passive income is treated more favorably than earned income. Also, there is a reason that long term capital gains are treated differently than short term capital gains. Congress has decided to encourage long term investing and penalize short horizon investing. Is this good or bad? Honest men can disagree, but if we decide it is a good idea to encourage "long term view" investing, then it is absolutely absurd to then say, "well, we want people to think long term because that encourages better business practices, but for those that are rich and control more wealth, we don't want to encourage long term thinking".

    If treating long term and short term gains is sufficiently a good idea, then it is sufficiently a good idea. There is no good reason to then stoke hatred for those that utilize it. If congress thinks it's not a good idea to encourage long term investing, let's do away with that provision for everyone.

    Likewise, congress allows extra deductions for those that are blind. If that's a good idea fine. But if a blind man is wealthy, why shouldn't he take advantage of it? After all, he still has a few extra expenses that the rest of us don't have.
  9. 20 Sep '11 17:41
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Interesting data here from the IRS on the top 400 returns in gross income: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08intop400.pdf

    If you go to page 10, you'll see that the very highest earners paid an average rate of only 18.11% in federal income tax in 2008 (the last year figures are available). As recently as 1995, that rate was 29.93%.

    ...[text shortened]... ulled out of their collective a**es of their income in taxes, please have this chart available.
    Lol, I see you're wearing your grizzly bear protection...
  10. 20 Sep '11 22:20
    What Warren Buffet said is that he pays less taxes on some of his income than his secretary, which is obviously referring to the billions of dollars he's made on capital gains (15% to be exact).

    Of course, I have no idea what his secretary makes but I would imagine Warren Buffet's personal secretary is making six figures.
  11. 20 Sep '11 23:13
    I think Warren is having the time of his life right now, and I think it's great...
  12. 21 Sep '11 01:56
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service.


    How do they manage that? Sheesh, talk about loopholes...
    That's a small minority of all millionaires. The bottom 47% of taxpayers pay nothing in income taxes. That's probably 100 million people.
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    21 Sep '11 02:17
    Originally posted by normbenign
    That's a small minority of all millionaires. The bottom 47% of taxpayers pay nothing in income taxes. That's probably 100 million people.
    When right wingers complain about government spending, Social Security and Medicare are always prominently mentioned. But when they complain about how the rich are supposedly overtaxed, they always want to ignore the regressive payroll taxes which fund those programs.

    Doesn't make good "spin" apparently.
  14. 21 Sep '11 02:37
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    When right wingers complain about government spending, Social Security and Medicare are always prominently mentioned. But when they complain about how the rich are supposedly overtaxed, they always want to ignore the regressive payroll taxes which fund those programs.

    Doesn't make good "spin" apparently.
    First, overtaxed or undertaxed is all a matter of opinion.

    For the benefits received, relatively high wage earners are still being screwed even by the supposedly regressive payroll tax. What is the ceiling now, $90k?

    If a taxpayer pays at that rate for say 40 years, and his employer matches, he doesn't qualify for a penny more than a guy that pays at the same 40 years at $30k. They each get the same medicare benefits, but the guy with the higher income pays a lot more. Now those over $90k don't pay any more, but why should they?

    You would never purchase an insurance policy from a private insurer whose premium was double if you made more money?

    I haven't made the argument that the rich pay too much, but that they certainly pay more than do the lower income groups. The people shouting pay "their fair share" are living in an alternative reality.

    Taking more from the rich, or even the high earners not yet rich, doesn't make the poor or middle class wealthier or better off. The money is displaced, and for the most part poorly used by government.
  15. 21 Sep '11 04:24 / 1 edit
    Of course, increasing Warren Buffett's taxes isn't going to help his poor little secretary one bit. Nor will it help any teachers, fireman or any other group Obama pretends to care about.

    Naturally, he's not even talking about lowering the rate Buffet's poor secretary pays, only about raising the rate the Buffet pays.

    Then there's the fact that even though Buffet doesn't pay a high enough rate (according to him), he's still bitching about the billion in taxes Berkshire has owed for the past ten years.

    There's no law that says Buffett can't send more than he owes to the Feds. They'll be glad to keep it.


    Shouldn't Obama have done something about all this while he had super majorities in both the House and the Senate?