Saturday, August 13, 2011

Out of character

I don't usually post on Facebook. But my BFF (since 7th grade) got me all hot and bothered, starting a post about rich people, taxes, jobs, etc. She has a friend (turns out he's a lawyer, go figure) joining in as a whiner and I just couldn't stand it.

Here's an example of what fifty-something people are talking about.....

BFF: Scott Rasmussen just said that polls indicate that many people have figured out that in regard to the economic crisis"somebody changed the rules" and it has been bad for the country. I think Dan would agree. Sadly for me as a lifelong Republican, I am experiencing the creeping growth of a feeling that it might have begun with the Gipper himself ;(

Whiny Lawyer: In fact it did, he was put in office by the rich and powerful. Immediately lowered tax rates for the rich from 72% down into the 30's We were lambs going to slaughter with not a clue what was happening

Me: So how much should the "rich" pay? The most recent statistics say that the top 5% pay almost 60% of all individual income taxes.​2010/11/04/what-percentage​-of-federal-income-taxes-d​o-rich-people-really-pay/ This is a current link.
According to the IRS, the top one percent of all income earners in the United States in 2008 paid over 38 percent of the taxes.
For historical myth busting, check this article as well. When tax rates are lower, GDP rises and more taxes are paid.

The Truth About Tax Rates and The Politics of Class Warfare

Whiny Lawyer: The tax code is primarily to allow the rich to shelter income and avoid taxation which is fine. I would be pleased to see any statistics showing the 1% pays 60 % of taxes because it seems high. Our country is in trouble everyone should pay taxes to help reduce debt until it is retired. Across the board on a scale dependent on income. A consumption tax instead of income tax would work also. It is the Megarich or billionaires who are the problem not wealthy people who have success.

BFF: I love this discussion between my lawyer friend and my tax acccountant/BFF Kerry McCarley Balthrop! I am going to read these articles! But Dan, seriously, 72%??? I would never do anything if I understood that the government was going to get three quarters out of every dollar I made. And, do you really mean "everyone" should pay taxes? Even the "poor" in this country? You mean they might have to give up cigarettes, beer, and cable tv and not get there UN Earned Income Credit? And how do we tax the megarich when they have armies of lawyers and accountants (sorry guys) to defend their riches--betters than having the knights, castles and moats that defended the medieval lords.

Me: Why should I mind if other people have millions as long as I have the opportunity to succeed? Again, a rising tide floats all the boats. I do have millionaire clients. They pay plenty of tax. They worked hard to be successful. Why should I resent that? My millionaire clients provide jobs and support private charities (which are far more efficient than government "largesse.") And there aren't that many "millionaires" anyway. A 100 % tax on the people you think are millionaires would be a drop in the bucket. History says that taxes stay about 19% of GDP, doesn't matter the tax rate. So the goal should be to enact policies that increase GDP (jobs.) These policies include lower tax RATES (not lower taxes) and less regulation. For example, the government now wants all farmers to have commercial drivers' licenses, with all the fees and reporting that ensues. And look at the "deprived" poor and middle classes in our country compared to others. Our poor have cell phones, television and air conditioning. Check out India with a billion people living at real poverty levels. Check out Ricky's blog at http://rickysplace.wordpre​ for discussions on economics and true poverty. There is so much information available. Instead of just saying "I would be pleased to see any statistics......" go look at the statistics for yourself. It takes a few clicks on the computer. And the statistics say that the top 5% (not 1%) pay almost 60 % of the taxes.​011/07/jet-owners-ogres-an​d-other-millionaire-myths/
Just another site


Phil said...


One of my data based friends from P&G publishes a blog using statistics to analyze the news. Check out this blog.
Reducing spending and raising taxes seems to be the only answer that works.


Life in the Fifties said...

Rising tax revenue is the natural result of rising GDP. Raising tax RATES doesn't necessarily raise revenue. Raising tax rates in a period of low GDP growth - not sure you would achieve much! There's too little incentive to cash out and create a taxable event. We need to put your friend in a discussion with Ricky for an economic blog battle!