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Political YouTube Clips Thread

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by The Great Snook, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    This one kind of builds on my previous post. There is a group called "Patriotic Millionaires". They have been lobbying Congress to raise their taxes as they don't believe they are paying their fair share. See what happens.

     
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  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Well, they have a point, individual donations from them would only be for the sake of the show if done like that and wouldn't really have any significant impact. Still, it's a pretty pathetic fail at PR considering that they could easily have done it, even if just for the sake of the show. But the problem then is that everyone would have the argument "ah-hah, see, all the millionaires don't need higher taxes because YOU can always donate as much money as you want!". But obviously, it's rather silly to expect that anyone but the most wealthy (and not most all of them) would want to pay higher taxes. If there's one constant all across the world it's that the rich are always looking to get richer (and for the best tax haven), so paying higher taxes will always be a minority desire in that class.

    Frankly, these lobbyists' time would have been better spent coming up with an honour system for the patriotic rich where they would individually pledge to donate to the treasury on a yearly basis. Hoping that they'll drum up nation-wide support of the rich to depart with more of their wealth is, well, stupid. The rich are always more patriotic with their words than their wallets.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I agree Tal - the whole thing is they want everyone to supposedly pay their fair share. If only they and a few other people do this, while most of the rich do not - then a few millionaires forking over a few thousand dollars extra into the treasury each year isn't going to do squat. But there are hundreds of thousands of millionaires in the US, and if all of them paid more, it would make a difference.
     
  4. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    One of my favorite lectures. Noam Chomsky on propaganda:

     
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  5. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Rick Santelli is often called the Godfather of the Tea Party movement (I happen to agree).

     
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  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Yea, we got this from our government as well... why bother taxing the rich more, there are so comparatively few of them (on paper anyway, and we know how that goes) that it wouldn't really make any difference. It took a combined force of the unions, the media and public protests to get it through their thick skulls that it's a question of making a noticeable dent in the rich's earnings as well, not just those of the lower to middle class. The non-wealthy majority will take on the burden of additional taxation and/or reduction in wages/benefits much more calmly if it at least seems that the rich are affected by it as well. And the only way to do that is to tax the rich considerably more. Of course in the US, that's likely to happen as soon as you see pink gryphons in the sky...
     
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  7. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Why is he yelling at me? I didn't do anything wrong...
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    A couple of points here. I think the guy is not making the point he wants to make. He said that by increasing the tax on the rich, it would only reduce about one month's worth of debt annually. To me, that's not an insignificant amount. It would reduce our debt by 1/12 annually, or about an 8% annual reduction.

    I don't think we can "cut" our way out of our debt. We need additional revenue to help. One thing I find rather humorous is Obama's planned tax reform is nearly identical to the tax reform Reagan put in place in 1985 - and Reagan was hailed for it back then. What Obama wants here is just a return to sane taxation levels.

    There's other points that aren't really being brought up on taxes that should be. You will often hear a statement to the effect of "40% of Americans don't pay any tax at all!" That's only kinda true. It is true if you are talking only about federal income tax. It's true that 40% of American adults between exemptions and deductions on their tax bill owe no federal income tax. They are mostly the very young adults, and the very old that have smaller incomes. However, every working American must pay into Social Security and Medicare, even if they are only making minimum wage, and it's the same flat percentage rate for everyone. They also have to pay state sales tax whenever they buy something. So it's not like they don't pay any taxes whatsoever, which is what that comment sounds like.

    That said, I can see why some members of the 60% of Americans who do pay federal income tax can get peeved at the 40% who don't, especially in the way it is phrased that suggests 40% of people have no deductions from their paychecks, which simply isn't true.
     
  9. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    What it sounds like to me is 47% of Americans benefit from services the federal government provides and yet pay nothing for them. In other words they aren't paying their fair share :lol:
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    While true, most of the government assistance programs are only offered to people who cannot provide for themselves. So any person receiving government benefits, be they food stamps, unemployment benefits, social security, medicare, welfare, etc, is by definition taking from the system while contributing little to nothing.

    The concept though is that this isn't a permanent, always present condition. For example, if you're receiving social security benefits, you're taking from the system, but presumably you paid into the system while you were working. There are certainly people who are perpetual leeches on society, who are always taking and never giving (and as previously noted anyone who has a job contributes an equal percentage of their salary to social security* and medicare), but I doubt it's the same 40-something percent of people all the time.

    *Assuming you make around $106K per year or less. If you make more than $106K, you actually pay a smaller percentage of your total salary to social security than those making less than you.
     
  11. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Federal income tax isn't the only tax that goes to the federal government iirc. And besides, if they support their state, they indirectly support the federal government.

    When you have people who are rich and people who are poor, there are bound to be some people who are net donors and some who are net beneficiaries to the government. That in itself is hardly shocking - people have different means and can't be expected to put in the same. You want to have lower taxation on the poor, so they have as few problems climbing into the higher income brackets as possible.
     
  12. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You can't tell me that 47% of Americans are poor. That 47% even includes some rich.

    What I am tired of is the nonsensical rhetoric of "fair share". What is "fair"?

    That's what a progressive tax system provides, but is that "fair"? Is it "fair" that almost half the people pay no federal income tax at all? I pay more in federal income tax than a large percentage of Americans make; is that "fair" for me or them? Who said the world is - or should be - "fair" anyway?
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Of course not, since by definition it's nearly half of the population. Even if it is the lowest 47% of income earners (which it clearly isn't as you state), some of them would have to be earning very near the median income of the country.

    It's all in how you look at it. What a progressive tax system also includes is that everyone pays the same amount at a given tax rate, regardless of how much money they make for the year. This is because not only do we have a progressive system, but we also have a marginal tax rate. Here's the marginal tax table:

    Code:
    10% Bracket:    Married $0 – $17,000           Single  $0 – $8,500
    15% Bracket:    Married $17,000 – $69,000      Single  $8,500 – $34,500
    25% Bracket:    Married $69,000 – $139,350     Single  $35,500 – $83,600
    28% Bracket:    Married $139,350 – $212,300    Single  $83,600 – $174,400
    33% Bracket:    Married $212,300 – $379,150    Single  $174,400 – $379,150
    35% Bracket:    Married Over $379,150          Single Over $379,150
    EDIT: Added code tags to make table easier to read. [/edit]

    When your income bumps you up to the next bracket you do pay a higher tax. But you only pay the higher percentage for the income amount that falls in that bracket. The income up to, but not including the next highest bracket, is taxed at the lower brackets marginal tax rate. When you move up a marginal tax rate, only that portion of your income that falls into the higher Federal Income Tax bracket is taxed at the higher rate, not your entire salary.

    Perhaps easier to understand by example. Say after all of your deductions, a single guy has $10,000 worth of taxable income. That puts him in the 15% marginal tax rate. However, the first $8500 of his income is taxed at 10%, with only the last $1500 of his income taxed at 15%.

    Keep in mind that those tax rates are for your taxable income. Everyone gets a personal exemption of $3,700 on their earnings, and everyone is entitled to at least the standard deduction ($5,800 if you're single, $11,600 if married). This is distinct from your effective tax rate which is simply the money you paid in taxes divided by your total income. To use me as an example, while my salary puts me in the 25% tax bracket, after my deductions from health care insurance, FSA, 401K, my married deduction and the exemption from having a child, it bumps me down into the 15% tax bracket. But my effective tax rate (because of all that stuff that wasn't taxed) isn't anywhere near 15% - it was 7.9% this year.

    But here's what I don't get. If 47% of Americans aren't paying any federal income tax, that means that 47% of Americans don't have any taxable income. So I'm trying to figure out how there can be so many. If Social Security is your only income source, then it's not taxable. That has to be significant chunk of that 47%, but in no way accounts for all of it. Welfare is similarly not taxed. Unemployment benefits are taxable, so it's not the high unemployment rate contributing to the amount. There still has to be a significant portion of people who are employed but have deductions and exemptions exceeding their total income. And I don't know how that can be the case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  14. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    You can use CODE tags to preserve any text/space formatting.
     
  15. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Deductions; otherwise known as "loopholes" :) There are all kinds of reasons including deducting losses; our tax code is so complex and convoluted it doesn't really surpise me at all. :)

    I think there should be a minimum percent (or amount, or something) that nobody can get below; everybody benefits from something the federal government provides (even if that's just security), so everybody should pay something.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, I think there should be a minimum you pay if you make over a certain amount. I do not view my current federal income tax rate as excessive.

    And thanks Tal - I was able to add the code text.
     
  17. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I’m not sure if you meant that seriously or not, but the notion some people have that “deductions” are “loopholes” is a pet peeve of mine. The term “loophole” has a negative connotation surrounding it, and implies that someone is abusing provisions of the law to achieve results that weren’t the intent of the law overall. If a deduction is specifically allowed under the tax law, then taking that deduction isn’t a loophole; it’s simply doing what the law says you can do. Now certainly there are ways you can structure your affairs to minimize tax, and it’s possible that some structures give unintended tax benefits (and thus those could be considered loopholes), but that is the consequence of poorly-written laws (due in large part to the complexity of the tax code). However, some people like to label deductions as loopholes simply on the basis that the deduction isn’t available to them. One of my favorites is depreciation, where a business is allowed to write off the cost of assets with a long life (buildings, equipment, etc.) over a period of time against the income those assets generate; some people call this a loophole, notwithstanding the fact that the law specifically says you can deduct depreciation. I would go so far as to say that depreciation could be considered a penalty in that, if a business has to lay out the cash up front, it should be allowed to deduct the cost in the year it was incurred, rather than being forced to take the deduction over a number of years.

    /end slightly off-topic rant
     
  18. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That's why I put the smiley in there. There are always "good" reasons for deductions in the tax code; it's not like they're put there to purposely allow abuse. IMO, the more complex the tax code the more likely you're going to have abuse.

    And since it's the let's say more wealthy individuals that can afford to hire people to understand and exploit these things in the tax code, it's more likely it's those that are exploiting it. :)
     
  19. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Anyone want to hazard a guess as to whom these people voted for (and will vote for again)?

     
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  20. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Most people vote for the person or party that's promising them what they want to hear. :heh:
     
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