OT: Shut down the %#@*& government

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Where's that number? I find it pretty unlikely. It was exactly what Warren Buffett was challenging his fellow billionaires about in 2007. So far I haven't heard of any takers; "I'll bet a million dollars against any member of the Forbes 400 who challenges me that the average (federal tax rate including income and payroll taxes) for the Forbes 400 will be less than the average of their receptionists."
Here's a piece by politifact- http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2011/feb/25/sheldon-whitehouse/whitehouse-says-richest-400-taxpayers-taxed-lower -/
Their rate is higher-- but only on income over a certain amount. The pay no payroll tax over $120K or so-- [I'm not sure when/if Medicare drops off]
Politifact agrees that these 400 are paying less of a percentage than the 29K workers-- if you include SS & Medicare taxes. [and why wouldn't you-- it isn't like they let you opt out of them.]
Jim
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And they start losing itemized deductions and other perks around that, too. ALso, they run into the AMT more often. Plus the lower groups are able to take advantage of credits, many of which were passed specifically to address things like the SS tax differential. (The bottom two percentiles actually pay a negative share of income taxes which indicates this "rebate"). Remember that these are skewed somewhat by the fact that 47% of households pay no fed income tax. The CBO's "share of fed tax liabilities for all households by comprehensive household income quintile" in 2006 (the latest I could find) showed that the share of TOTAL Fed tax liabilities for the top 1% was 28.3% (up from 15.4% in '79 for those playing at home). This included not only share of individual income tax liabilities, but also Social Insurance, and excise taxes. CBO stats from Pre-Tax Income Shares All Households, by Household Income Category, 1979-2006, show the top 1% has 18.8% of pre-tax income (which seems to me anyway a better metric than after tax). So, with less than 20% of the income they they pay about 28.% of ALL fed taxes. If you have anything that even begins to suggest how state taxes fit into all this, feel free to tell me.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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-snip-

I haven't seen anything since the early 90s that even began to address taxes other than Fed. Income Tax. [and a lot of the figures then were 20 years old.] The burden the lowest earners pay in sales, use, excise, and property taxes varies all of the map from state to state.
Not one to usually attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity-- I suspect the tax situation is kept impossibly complicated by design.
No matter what is politically expedient to say in a particular situation. . . you can pick out some facts to support it.
Jim
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I am not so sure. The tax situation is driven by politics, but no surprise there. So things are tacked on to please someone or, even more often, one person wants to tack on something which requires tacking on multiple other things designed to get votes instead of make things easier. Add to that inertia as things are tacked on to things that were tacked on earlier but not removed, and you have what we laughingly call a tax "system".
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Huh? Pretty good deal? You ask me, it's confiscatory!
I do not know why they don't implement my "Flat-Flat Tax" methody.
You know what the "Flat Tax" is all about; I take it one step further.
Assume (round numbers) we have 300,000,000 folks and the federal budget is $3 trillion. That's $10,000 each.
Send it in.
"Ah," you might say, "what about the poor person who doesn't HAVE $10,000 with which to pay her taxes?" I admit this is sort of a conundrum, but I think I've figured that out also.
Blood platelets.
This person could donate a unit of blood platelets each month and the government would credit her with $1000 toward her taxes. I call this the "Tax Withdrawal Program."
"Okay, smarty-pants, what about the unmarried mother of four, each under five years of age? She can't give FIVE units of blood platelets a month and we certainly are not going to drain her children!"
True, but there are alternatives.
One kidney.
A kidney on the open market is easily worth $100,000. She'd have her and her brood's taxes paid for two full years. After two years, she could contribute a cornea, and so on. By the time she ran out of spare parts, her snowflakes would be having broods of their own.
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The two lowest quintiles actually have a negative share of taxes getting more back in credits, etc., than they pay in taxes.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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Before anybody pounces on this, negative share of Fed INCOME taxes.
--
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koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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Bob F wrote:

1. These people should not be criticized for playing by the rules.
2. It's not the GOVERNMENT'S money. It came from the taxpayer.
3. Further, SS is an annuity. The people collecting (in the main) who are claiming benefits paid into the thing for 45 years.
4. No Republican (that I know of) has called for the abolition or even diminution of Social Security, Medicare, or the Battle Monuments Commission. The Department of Education, sure, but not those programs that actually do good.
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It isn't an annuity. It was set-up on a pay as you go basis, meaning that I was paying for Dad. The problem is that there are not enough sons and daughters to pay for me and my compatriots. The problems are made worse by the bipartisan changes in the 80s where they upped the taxes and then put them into NON-marketable treasury securities. Of course those at the time never got around to designating an income stream to repay the securities, let alone the interest. Double your pleasure, double your fun.
--
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On Wed, 02 Mar 2011 07:09:04 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

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