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Are we paying our fair share yet?

We constantly get told that we are not paying up enough of our fair share to help the liberal wealth redistribution schemes and scams buy them votes, but a new study by the CBO shows something quite different:

(CNSNews.com) – The top 40 percent of households by before-tax income actually paid 106.2 percent of the nation’s net income taxes in 2010, according to a new study by the Congressional Budget Office.

At the same time, households in the bottom 40 percent took in an average of $18,950 in what the CBO called “government transfers” in 2010. Taxpayers in the top 40 percent of households were able to pay more than 100 percent of net federal income taxes in 2010 because Americans in the bottom 40 percent actually paid negative income taxes, according to the CBO study entitled, “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010.”

“When refundable tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, exceed the other federal tax liabilities of the households in an income group, those households are said to have a negative average tax rate,” said the CBO study. “In its analysis, CBO measured individual income taxes net of refundable credits,” it said. In 2010, the CBO determined, American households in the bottom 40 percent paid negative amounts in income-tax dollars and a negative average income-tax rate.

Much of the progressivity of the federal tax system derives from the individual income tax,” said the report. “In 2010, the lowest quintile’s average rate for the individual income tax was -9.2 percent and the second income quintile’s rate was -2.3 percent.” “A group can have a negative income tax rate if its refundable tax credits exceed the income tax otherwise owed,” said the CBO report.

The households in the top 20 percent by income paid 92.9 percent of net income tax revenues taken in by the federal government in 2010, said CBO. The households in the fourth quintile paid another 13.3 percent of net income tax revenues. Together, the top 40 percent of households paid 106.2 percent of the federal government’s net income tax revenue. The third quintile paid another 2.9 percent—bringing the total share of net federal income tax revenues paid by the top 60 percent to 109.1 percent. That was evened out by the net negative income tax paid by the bottom 40 percent.

And that skew, the wealth transfer, is going to tilt even more that way when Obamacare goes nuclear on our sorry asses. if you think this sort of highway robbery is a good thing, you are a moron. And why can’t we ever get a breakdown that shows the actual money these people get vs. how much of the money collected gets pissed away by Leviathan’s bureaucracy?

Look at it this way: we have a system where out of a group of 50 people in a room – broken down by the tax demographic shown by the numbers in the CBO above – one of these people pays more than all the others combined. But the injustice doesn’t end there. There are 25 people that not only don’t pay any income taxes, but they get to take away money. So the person getting ripped off and the others that pay some or taxes, but get nothing back, are basically outvoted by the people getting money back. The Greeks figured out that was going to be the end of their experiment with democracy over 2500 years ago.

A system where people that not only don’t pay taxes, but they get to collect money from those that do, and that gives them equal representation when electing the scumbags that put these sorts of systems in place, is not just evil, it is downright destructive in the long run, because it is simply not sustainable. And we are seeing that happen finally as most modern western nations with such progressive tax & spend collectivist systems are slowly running out of other people’s money to keep them afloat.

That’s why the democrats are turning us into a banana republic. If you have no skin in the game, you don’t care if the game is wrong. That’s why I feel that people that don’t pay taxes, or worse, get money back from those that do, shouldn’t get a vote when it comes to policies that allow them to get even more money from others. We need a flat tax. Everyone should have to pay. It will fix most of our problems with the tax & spenders and their agenda.

66 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    I pay more in taxes than a huge portion of these people see as annual gross income. Yeah, I’m getting screwed, and I see it in every paycheck.

    If we want to get things back on track then the entire concept of a progressive tax system needs to scrapped in favor of something that is actually equitable to everyone. Perhaps then people will start realizing – I’ve never understood how something so blatantly unfair is so routinely lauded as being best for everyone.

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  2. Poosh says:

    Flat Tax.

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  3. CM says:

    That’s why I feel that people that don’t pay taxes, or worse, get money back from those that do, shouldn’t get a vote when it comes to policies that allow them to get even more money from others.

    Virtually everyone pays tax. Just not federal income tax. So it would make almost no difference at all in terms of who gets to vote.

    I actually agree with some of what you’re saying here. Trying to ‘fix’ things via the tax system isn’t really sustainable. However it’s the some-what understandable result of incomes getting increasingly disproportionate. The middle class is being killed off because those jobs just don’t pay enough anymore. But in trying to ‘fix’ it, it just encourages the problems to get worse (why would companies give up some profit to pay those people more when the government will just allow those people to claim tax credits).

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  4. pekka says:

    The households in the top 20 percent by income paid 92.9 percent of net income tax revenues taken in by the federal government in 2010, said CBO.

    Not necessarily defending progressive taxation, but those numbers are a rather obvious result of income being distributed the way it is. The more of the nation’s income moves from the middle class into the top percentiles, so will income tax payments. Using that as an argument that “we” (or “the rich”, or whatever) are paying too big a portion is just bad science.

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  5. Xetrov says:

    Using that as an argument that “we” (or “the rich”, or whatever) are paying too big a portion is just bad science.

    Only if you can make the argument that the top 40% in this country who paid 106.2% of the income taxes also made 106.2% of the total income.

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  6. AlexInCT says:

    Virtually everyone pays tax. Just not federal income tax

    Yeah, but we all pay the same percentage when paying those other taxes, unless you are discussing the luxury tax that only the super-rich are getting hit by, and this tax discussion I put up was limited to income, fica, and SS taxes. If anything you make a great argument on how bad taxes are period rather than anything else.

    So it would make almost no difference at all in terms of who gets to vote.

    Totally disagree, and do so vehemently. Your argument is an absurd attempt to ignore that there really is no choice to not earn. I can limit what I purchase, and when I choose to purchase, to avoid the onerous sales tax burden. I can choose where to live to avoid onerous local and state taxes too. What I can’t do – well I can’t but your average progressive seems to be totally content with that – is decide to earn less or not work, because I am simply not wired to be a leech on society. These days that seems to be to my detriment.

    When you have such a massive discrepancy in one area of taxation, and then as a means to redistribute wealth, it is a pile of shit. People getting my money from the IRS are never going to vote against politicians that want to jack up income taxes. They will only care about politicians that deprive them of their lucre. Hence the term people that vote for a living.

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  7. Seattle Outcast says:

    The middle class isn’t being killed off, it’s just be lowered in its standard of living.

    The issue is a government that has embraced the Soviet system of doing things while pretending otherwise.

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  8. trade_pro says:

    I for one am tired of people saying that no one gets away without paying taxes. That’s not the point.

    Those in the bottom 40% pay sales tax and gas tax, etc. etc. so do I and so does everyone who pays for something.

    Did they make income, as I did, to buy those things?
    YES

    Now why do they not get taxed on their income like I do and the other 60% of the people do?!?!?!

    I buy gas, they buy gas–we both are taxed

    I make money, they make money–I get taxed, they get money back.

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  9. Seattle Outcast says:

    We can also throw in the example of progressive pricing to illustrate how morally corrupt our current tax structure is:

    Bob, Jim, Eric and Don go out to dinner as a group and each order a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a large drink. When the bill comes Bob is charged $25, Jim is charged $10, Eric is charge $1.25, and Don is given $8 from the till.

    Bob makes $80K
    Jim makes $60K
    Eric makes $35K
    Don makes $25K

    CM will now totally fail to explain how this is fair and proper, but supports it all the same.

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    First, they misquote that CBO study. When you look at all taxes, the lowest quintile pays 1.5% federal tax rate while the richest pay 24% (table 4). it’s only when you look at income taxes by themselves that you get their numbers. As pointed out above, payroll and excise taxes are essentially flat. In fact, the lowest quintile actually pay a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than the top quintile do. The reason is because states use sales taxes mostly and the rich didn’t get rich by spending all their money.

    As for the scaling of the income tax, keep in mind that this is what Milton Friedman endorsed as the more sensible way of dealing with poverty instead of welfare (the negative income tax). The biggest reason for negative income tax liability is 1) the Bush tax cuts; 2) the EITC. The latter is a big reason poverty fell so much in the 90′s. I just read this analysis (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/the-minimum-wage-aint-what-it-used-to-be/?smid=tw-share&_r=0) that argued that the EITC is far more effective at moving people to work than, say, raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage decreases employment in part because it increases the risk that low-wage employer have to take to hire a new employee. The ETIC essentially minimizes the employer risk. In short, there’s good evidence that this negative income tax liability can move people from welfare to work.

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  11. CM says:

    The graph here suggests, when taking into account all taxes, people basically pay what they earn.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/the-most-misleading-part-of-the-47-total-us-taxes-are-barely-progressive/262536/

    Here it is in table form:
    http://ctj.org/images/taxday2012table.jpg

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  12. AlexInCT says:

    First, they misquote that CBO study. When you look at all taxes, the lowest quintile pays 1.5% federal tax rate while the richest pay 24% (table 4). it’s only when you look at income taxes by themselves that you get their numbers.

    Really Hal? From the article I link:

    The households in the top 20 percent by income paid 92.9 percent of net income tax revenues taken in by the federal government in 2010, said CBO

    They are very clear on what the tax they are discussing is: income tax.

    As pointed out above, payroll and excise taxes are essentially flat. In fact, the lowest quintile actually pay a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than the top quintile do.

    I don’t give a flying fuck about that because, as I already pointed out, I always have the option to move and change those taxes. I chose to live in a place where I pay more because my state and local taxes get me a lot more. My income taxes do not give me any such ability to choose, and worse, they grant me no return. Zero. Spare me the shit about roadz or such other drivel Obama wants to pretend are all gifts from the federal government. My state charges me the highest gas tax in the union, well except for the federal one, and that’s so they can keep the roadz working. Only they put the money in a general fund, and then funnel it too to people they need to buy votes from while the roadz keep deteriorating.

    The reason is because states use sales taxes mostly and the rich didn’t get rich by spending all their money.

    So you are telling me the rich don’t buy things? In fact, the rich buy a lot more than your average Joe does, and they also buy a lot of very expensive shit that usually has additional taxes tacked on to them. Granted, they will then park those big boats in other states to avoid paying taxes on them though, like Kerry (and all other rich democrats) does. Joe-Blow pays sales taxes on his Mickey Ds, and Nancy Pelosi pays the same on her trip to Paris to eat Foigrass and drink champagne. Oh, damn. Bad example. Pelosi makes the tax payer pay for that.

    When you don’t pay income tax, and worse, you get money back from it, you are never going to feel others are taxed enough. After all, the politicians are going to take more and give you more. And that’s the problem with this tax system. As I pointed out: the Greeks knew this would be the end of their democratic experiment close to three millennia ago.

    The best cure for poverty is a vibrant and booming economy. Nothing that the class warriors and wealth redistributionists believe in and put into practice will ever achieve that, because their game is not to create more wealth but to jealously guard the pie, and, after keeping the lion share, to parcel out the crumbs in return for the support of the serfs. That system must go.

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  13. CM says:

    Pure communism
    http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/11/news/economy/wealth-net-worth/index.html

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  14. salinger says:

    How does this tax burden correlate with the growing income disparity gap?

    Are the rich suffering more than the poor?

    Last time income disparity hit these levels was right before the great depression – ya think there might have been a correlation?

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/11/inequality-and-growth-what-do-we-know.html

    One way for the 1%’ers to lower their tax bill would be to see that the trickle down be more than a trickle.

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  15. Seattle Outcast says:

    “trickle down” is a misnomer – it’s typically called “supply side economics” and only the detractors (collectivists) have ever truly branded it “trickle down”, and did so for political reasons.

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  16. Hal_10000 says:

    Alex, you completely missed my point.

    First, I said the article misquoted the CBO study. You respond by citing … the article. I was talking about total tax rates, i.e., what part of someone’s income do they pay to the government? if you look at the *actual CBO study* you get the figures I cited. What we’ve done is changed the income tax system to where it only taxes the top 50%. This was a Republican idea. Payroll taxes are a different kettle of fish and you really can’t ignore them in any discussion of taxes since they are a huge part of the revenue the feds take in.

    So you are telling me the rich don’t buy things?

    No, I’m saying the rich don’t spend all their money. Look at sales taxes as a percent of income. Let’s say you have sales tax rate of 5%. The typical poor person spends about 110% of what they make, meaning they pay a tax rate (sales tax over income) of 5.5%. The typical rich person spends about 60% of what they earn (investing or saving the rest), so their effective tax rate is 3%. Really, this isn’t controversial. The regressivity of a sales tax is pretty well known. It’s why the Fair Tax only “works” if it has the prebate thing (although that causes effective tax rates to peak for the middle class).

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  17. salinger says:

    “trickle down” is a misnomer – it’s typically called “supply side economics” and only the detractors (collectivists) have ever truly branded it “trickle down”, and did so for political reasons.

    “Give tax breaks to large corporations, so that money can trickle down to the general public, in the form of extra jobs.”
    Andrew Mellon

    Nonetheless – if it makes it more palatable – switch out the term “trickle down” for Supply Side and then feel free to address the question.

    e.g. One way for the 1%’ers to lower their tax bill would be to see that the supply side do a bit more supplying.

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  18. richtaylor365 says:

    Hal, the income disparity you are complaining about ,that poor people pay a higher portion of whatever money they have (earned or otherwise) in taxes ignores the very foundation of capitalism, namely that those with less money will suffer more than those with more. But this is a specious argument, poor people pay a higher percentage of their income in any purchase, taxes or otherwise. They pay a higher percentage in food, gas, rent, utilities, the very costs of existing, so what? The only solution I can think of is to forfeit private property altogether and allow the state to dictate wages and/or provide for the needs of its citizens, oh wait, they tried that already. In a capitalist society, prosperity and the pursuit of wealth is the motivator if you do not like your station in life. Is this not the proper course in eradicating the pain of paying more for taxes and essentials of life that you struggle with? Rich people, for whatever reason ( smarter, worked harder, took more risks) have reached that point where paying for life’s essentials is not a hardship, and they provide a ready-made blue print for those that want the same life style.

    “Give tax breaks to large corporations, so that money can trickle down to the general public, in the form of extra jobs.”

    Tell you what, lower the corporate tax rate to 20%, more in line with every other industrialized nation, and then you can eliminate all their tax breaks, a win/win all the way around.

    Are the rich suffering more than the poor?

    There was an interesting article in the WSJ the other day, the gist of which was this; that whatever pain the last recession brought to any American, those that had either investments or owned property, those folks have made up for it and have regained all their lost wealth. The rising stock market and real estate prices have made them whole again. I bet just about every one that participates on this blog would validate that premise.

    It is a common diversion to grouse about taxes, I certainly have done my share on this blog, but as a tax payer, as someone with “skin in the game” I don’t lose track of certain universal immutables;
    1) With my largess and good fortune comes an obligation to fund or perpetuate the system that has done good by me, that there is a price for living in a free/capitalist society, and that is paying taxes.
    2) Income disparity is the driving force for the pursuit of prosperity. You should not be happy making minimum wage, living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to pay your bills, but everyone needs to navigate that first rung in the ladder, in order to climb that ladder. Government should not be providing entitlements to the point of upsetting that whole “pursuit of a better life” applecart.
    3) The government cannot expect people to be happy paying taxes if that tax revenue is wasted or squandered. The simple fact that we are $17 plus trillion in debt speaks to their inability to shepherd that money properly and tarnishes that fiduciary trust placed in them. And because of this, whatever enthusiasm one would have in doing one’s societal duty, paying one’s taxes, is eroded

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  19. Seattle Outcast says:

    The 1% is hoarding their resources right now Salinger – nobody has faith in the economy or the government. Investment will continue to be strangled until after the 2016 election – maybe even longer.

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  20. AlexInCT says:

    Hal, the income disparity you are complaining about ,that poor people pay a higher portion of whatever money they have (earned or otherwise) in taxes ignores the very foundation of capitalism, namely that those with less money will suffer more than those with more. But this is a specious argument, poor people pay a higher percentage of their income in any purchase, taxes or otherwise. They pay a higher percentage in food, gas, rent, utilities, the very costs of existing, so what. The only solution I can think of is to forfeit private property altogether and allow the state to dictate wages and/or provide for the needs of its citizens, oh wait, they tried that already.

    Exactly right Rich. The ludicrous argument that because poor people, with poor being whatever is convenient for the tax & spenders, pay more as a percentage of their lower income is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Fuck that shit. The issue here, if anyone is paying attention, is that we are paying too much in taxes generally, and too much of that payment goes to one political party buying votes with tax money from the productive while lining their own pockets. That’s despicable.

    The best and only solution to poverty is to grow the economy: not to redistribute wealth. There is a reason the class warriors cum wealth redistribution types always preside over bad economic times (Clinton was an aberration because republicans controlled the purse strings). That’s because whatever “social justice’ bullshit they implement always results in a combination of economic stagnation, economic uncertainty, lots of capital being diverted to themselves, their buddies & friends, lobbyists, friendly political entities, and whatever is left over to the people they want to buy votes from, and destruction of wealth generation.

    Our government has become too big, onerous, inefficient, and powerful. We need to cut it back. Bigtime. And one of the best ways to do this is to reduce taxation. Starve the fucking monster.

    Tell you what, lower the corporate tax rate to 20%, more in line with every other industrialized nation, and then you can eliminate all their tax breaks, a win/win all the way around.

    Progressives that agitate for corporate taxes are morons. Corporations NEVER pay taxes. NEVER FUCKING EVER. Those taxes are always paid by the consumers of the products and/or services provided by the corporations. A corporation is simply an entity that sells a product and/or a service, and by making a profit keeps people employed while making the share owners – if it is publicly traded – or the owners, money. Liberals with their irrational dislike of profits made by anyone but other liberals, seem unable to grasp this simple concept. Oft time the ones impacted the worst by these ludicrous high taxes on corporate entities are not rich people, but the corporate employees, all people that own stocks tied to the corprorations in their 401Ks, and the non-rich people that end up paying the bulk of the taxes the left tells us it gets from corporations, through their purchases. But illogical and stupid progressives remain immune to that fact.

    There was an interesting article in the WSJ the other day, the gist of which was this; that whatever pain the last recession brought to any American, those that had either investments or owned property, those folks have made up for it and have regained all their lost wealth.

    That’s not by accident. Obama and the donkeys might talk about caring for the little people, but like all the other hyenas that push this shit – from the monsters that put together the USSR, China, Cuba, and many other such hell holes that killed over 100 million people and imprisoned billions, to the soft collectivist western nations that only rob people of their dignity and have created a new feudal system where the serfs are now beholden to the state – they are really doing what they do to enrich themselves primarily. The rich have not only recouped all their losses: they are making out like bandits, That’s because the progressives are looting the middle class and diverting the wealth they steal to themselves, their friends, the entities they like, and the people they buy votes from, in that order. Collectivism always produces a two class system. The elite that control and own everything, and the sheep the elites in control use like cattle. Obama has just sped up the clock on how fast they can make the middle class evaporate in America.

    Fuck the collectivst and the horse they rode in on.

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  21. Hal_10000 says:

    Rich and Alex, you’re reading stuff into my comment that isn’t there about wealth redistribution or some shit. Let me simplify this. Alex’s claim, based on the article, is that the poor aren’t paying any taxes and don’t have skin in the game. My point, based on the actual CBO study, is that the poor are paying taxes (albeit a lot less than the rest of us). They’re paying negative income tax but positive payroll tax, sales tax, sin tax, gas tax, etc. How is that not having “skin in the game?” Unless you’re talking going to a poll tax or something like that, the rich will always pay a lot more in taxes than the poor, no?

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  22. salinger says:

    rich – thank for you thought out reply.

    Tell you what, lower the corporate tax rate to 20%, more in line with every other industrialized nation, and then you can eliminate all their tax breaks, a win/win all the way around.

    I’d be all for lowering the corporate rate to 20% – providing all loopholes were then closed. Anyone here who has run a business knows that nobody is paying that 30+ percent corporate rate that gets thrown out there. Listen, if that 20% rate would be more beneficial to business don’t think it wouldn’t already be in place. There are enough tax dodges out there available to the well heeled – they aren’t hurting by any means. Who do you think writes the tax code?

    Income disparity is the driving force for the pursuit of prosperity.

    I think this is a stretch. Keeping a roof over one’s head and food on the table is a pretty motivating incentive. Not everyone aspires to be a millionaire. And a significant number of folks are not capable of performing above a minimum wage level career. What should we do with these people? The decimation of manual labor jobs and unions have created a void for the G.E.D. crowd.

    The government cannot expect people to be happy paying taxes if that tax revenue is wasted or squandered..

    I agree – I would really prefer my tax dollars did not go to corporate welfare. As for running up the debt – that has been done while taxes have been at their lowest – go figure. Remember – Bush inherited a surplus.

    Seattle,

    The 1% is hoarding their resources right now Salinger

    The 1% has always hoarded their money – they just now control a larger portion of the countries’ wealth so their miserly ways are exponentially more harmful.

    nobody has faith in the economy or the government.

    Nobody except Wall Street.

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  23. richtaylor365 says:

    Rich and Alex, you’re reading stuff into my comment that isn’t there about wealth redistribution or some shit

    My comment to you had nothing to do with wealth redistribution, and I’m not sure what the “some shit” you are referring to. Your response to Alex was that the poor does indeed pay taxes and that their tax paying is more onerous on them because they have less money to begin with, correct? But their struggle is an ancillary by product of poverty in general, is this not also correct? When you have less money to pay for anything, whatever money that is spent will cause a bigger draw from the remaining pool because that pool (of money) is smaller to begin with. No one, at least not me, is arguing that point

    They’re paying negative income tax but positive payroll tax, sales tax, sin tax, gas tax, etc. How is that not having “skin in the game?”

    I guess it would depend on how you define “skin in the game”, and which game. In all those taxes you mentioned, the payer is getting a benefit from the purchase; with payroll, he gets social security in his old age, with sales/sin/gas taxes he is getting a product for his money and is not obligated to participate in this transaction in any way. But income taxes are different, they go directly to maintaining the governmental system by which we live under, so some could say (not me) that because none of their tax money goes to feeding the republic, they should not have a say in how that republic is run. For my own self, I do think they have skin in the game and deserve equal representation and participation. Poor people voting, I got no beef with, it’s stupid people voting, now there should be a law against that.

    the rich will always pay a lot more in taxes than the poor, no?

    Of course, and they should. But even with a flat tax, 15% of a little amount is always going to be less then 15% of a bigger amount. And factoring in progressive taxation where not only the amount taxed is more, but as a higher percentage, even here, the rich pay more taxes. What is nauseating to me is the failure by certain progressive types to acknowledge this, that the rich do indeed pay their fair share, that the whole house of cards exists solely on the backs of the rich, and that without their contributions, there is no federal government to fund.

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  24. Xetrov says:

    Remember – Bush inherited a surplus.

    And a recession. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-80312

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  25. salinger says:

    And a recession. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-80312

    According to CHER?

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  26. Xetrov says:

    According to CHER?

    And the economists cited in the article, but you go ahead and be deliberately obtuse, Ironman.

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  27. salinger says:

    And the economists cited in the article, but you go ahead and be deliberately obtuse, Ironman.

    You mean in that non-vetted screed minus line breaks and punctuation?

    Anyway – before this devolves into a pissing match ancillary to the original post (an occurrence whose regularity is one reason I barely bother to comment anymore) – even if a recession were in the waiting – wouldn’t the lowering of taxes by Bush had fixed everything?

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  28. richtaylor365 says:

    That’s not by accident.

    Would what be nice would be a follow up article connecting the dots, that sure, the run up has been nice, but it is all illusory, artificially inflated by a bond buying/currency eroding/ quantitive easing Fed who is ready to pull the plug at the first sign of a stabilizing economy, then watch out below.

    I’d be all for lowering the corporate rate to 20% – providing all loopholes were then closed. Anyone here who has run a business knows that nobody is paying that 30+ percent corporate rate that gets thrown out there. Listen, if that 20% rate would be more beneficial to business don’t think it wouldn’t already be in place. There are enough tax dodges out there available to the well heeled – they aren’t hurting by any means. Who do you think writes the tax code?

    The Washington bureaucrats have a vested interest in keeping the current level of corporate taxation as high and as punitive as possible. For some its buying votes and power with the promises of subsidies (farm, gas, green energy) and for others, those economically challenged who ignore history and embrace the misguided notion that higher taxes equal higher revenues, they will never learn.

    But in a global economy governments must compete for corporations, and when you are not business friendly, corporations will open up their new 1 billion dollar manufacturing plant (and all the jobs and revenues that comes with it) in a country that is.

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  29. salinger says:

    The Washington bureaucrats have a vested interest in keeping the current level of corporate taxation as high and as punitive as possible. For some its buying votes and power with the promises of subsidies

    Or one could look at it as corporations buying Washington bureaucrats in order to prop up a system of subsidies and tax loopholes while still allowing them to caterwaul about high corporate rates which they never pay anyway – but can be used as cover. wink wink nudge nudge.

    Who makes the regulations and writes the legislation? It’s a revolving door from Capital Hill to K street to the boardroom. Christ what percentage of legislators are millionaires – whose interest are they gonna be looking out for?

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  30. Section8 says:

    Who makes the regulations and writes the legislation? It’s a revolving door from Capital Hill to K street to the boardroom. Christ what percentage of legislators are millionaires – whose interest are they gonna be looking out for?

    Why that would be the people you vote for that promise government can fix it for ya. Don’t complain about the result if you’re going to continue to believe in the idea.

    Also, what is this about the top 1%? Who is to say you aren’t making too much? Maybe the top 5% are the problem, or the top 20%. On a world stage maybe it’s the top 1% that’s the problem which would most likely include us both and probably anyone else that’s posted here. How about a world tax of 70% for the top 1%. You in?

    Either way, taxes are not the issue in identifying who we should stick it to. That’s just legislating out of envy. The focus should be identifying who made money with hard work and honesty, and those who have manipulated the system with the help of rules and regulations regardless of how much they make. The government (especially federal) should a player in enforcing basic and broad laws like enforcing punishment for fraud, rather than being an active participant in shuffling the deck. And until we head in that direction, you can continue to scratch your head as to why the “perfect people” aren’t being voted into office.

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  31. salinger says:

    Why that would be the people you vote for that promise government can fix it for ya Don’t complain about the result if you’re going to continue to believe in the idea.

    wtf? project much?

    Also, what is this about the top 1%?

    Look at the facts – look at the disparity gap.

    Someone is cooking the books – if you can’t see this you deserve to be taken advantage of.

    What logical reason is there for the growth of wealth amongst only a small portion of the populace – did a tiny slice of business people just get super smart over the last three decades or have the rules been skewed? where is the supply side benefit? Where is the rising tide lifting all boats?

    We are living in another robber baron era. Or, please give me another plausible explanation – look at the charts from my earlier link and give me a reason for the disparity that doesn’t include nefarious behavior.

    The focus should be identifying who made money with hard work and honesty, and those who have manipulated the system with the help of rules and regulations regardless of how much they make.

    Okay, that’s pretty obvious. Now what about the revolving door between government – K Street – and business do you not get?

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  32. richtaylor365 says:

    Look at the facts – look at the disparity gap.

    What logical reason is there for the growth of wealth amongst only a small portion of the populace

    Salinger, I have already addressed that in several of my above responses. The wealth disparity you speak of is attributable to illusory stock market and real estate gains, that’s it.

    Where is the rising tide lifting all boats?

    For those that actually have boats (money in either the stock market or real estate) the tide has lifted all boats. Crickey, a chimpanzee picking stocks by placing buggers on the pages of Barrons could have made money this year and had his boat lifted. But the lower income folks, those that either rent or had no disposable income to invest, yes, they were pretty much left at the starting gate.

    We are living in another robber baron era

    How so? As far as I can tell, nothing nefarious going on here, no laws were broken and no one was taken advantage of, all the investing stars were aligned just right this year, does not mean it will continue (it won’t) or that all that wealth you speak of could not be lost the next year.

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  33. Xetrov says:

    wouldn’t the lowering of taxes by Bush had fixed everything?

    If he hadn’t have also spent like a drunken sailor, yeah, it would have fixed a lot (2007 being the highest tax receipts ever taken in by the Fed until 2013). Why do people on the left try to point at Bush as some pure example of conservatism that proves it doesn’t work? The guy was a moderate at best in regards to fiscal conservatism.

    The 1% has always hoarded their money

    That statement right there shows the delusional view of the economy that you view the world through. Some misconception that rich people are like Scrooge McDuck swimming through their money in a giant vault somewhere. The rich don’t hoard money. They make money work for them.

    But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.

    To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss–the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery–that you must offer them values, not wounds–that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade–with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability–and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money.

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  34. CM says:

    According to my CNN link above: “The median household saw its net worth drop to $57,000 in 2010, down from $73,000 in 1983. It would have been $119,000 had wealth grown equally across households.”
    How is $57K higher than a $73K boat?

    The rich don’t hoard money because Ayn Rand said so. ;-)
    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2010/07/13/worlds-rich-are-hording-10-trillion-in-cash/

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  35. CM says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101157290

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  36. Xetrov says:

    You should probably read the article before posting it if you’re going to try to cite it as some sort of debunking that the rich hoardmoney, or don’t make money work for them.

    Granted, these investors have $16.5 trillion invested with private banks and wealth-management firms–up from $14.5 trillion at the end of 2008, largely reflecting market gains.

    Your own article even answers why they don’t have all of their money in the markets -

    The world’s governments and volatile financial markets are probably the main causes of fear in the rich right now.

    Gosh, I wonder why.

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  37. salinger says:

    Why do people on the left try to point at Bush as some pure example of conservatism

    Who is saying he was a pure example of conservatism? I’m saying he fucked the pooch. The fact that he was the candidate of the party purporting to represent conservatives is on the folks that voted for him. Like Section Eight said:

    that would be the people you vote for that promise (LESS) government can fix it for ya Don’t complain about the result if you’re going to continue to believe in the idea.

    I added the word LESS in there for context. (On a side note – it should be – people you vote for WHO promise… not THAT. one of my grammar pet peeves – if you’re referring to a person it is always who.)

    Now maybe believing in the idea of less government isn’t a bad thing – and the fault lies in the implementation – but one could say the idea of believing in more and better regulated government may not be that bad of an idea either – but this concept too has had nothing but failed roll outs.

    Vested interest on both the right and left is at fault for the whole cluster fuck – and both sides fuel the partisan flames providing cover while we get swept up in the tide of the biggest wealth redistribution in the history of the world.

    But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak?…

    Who said this? I didn’t.

    Plus where’d you get this little speech? it sounds like Ayn Rand writing the closing “and the moral of the story is…” monologue of a South Park episode. It has nothing to do with the question at hand. Of course using currency makes trade easier. You might as well have said – “money doesn’t cheat people, people cheat people.” I agree.

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  38. salinger says:

    Ha! – then I go and do it. I plead jet lag.

    is on the folks that voted for him.

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  39. Xetrov says:

    Who is saying he was a pure example of conservatism?

    wouldn’t the lowering of taxes by Bush had fixed everything?

    Wish I knew the bold tag, “fixed everything” above would be bolded. Alluding to the cutting of taxes “fixing everything”, and cutting taxes being a conservative ideal implies you are holding Bush up as a “pure example of conservatism”. There is more to “fixing everything” than just cutting taxes, and pointing at Bush as an example of tax cuts failing to improve the economy is seriously flawed.

    I’m saying he fucked the pooch.

    By saying he cut taxes? Wow. Didn’t realize cutting taxes = “fucked the pooch”. What can we equate Obamacare with? Eating the pooch after fucking it to death?

    It has nothing to do with the question at hand

    It has everything to do with the statement (the rich hoarding money) at hand.

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  40. salinger says:

    Wish I knew the bold tag, “fixed everything” above would be bolded. Alluding to the cutting of taxes “fixing everything”, and cutting taxes being a conservative ideal implies you are holding Bush up as a “pure example of conservatism”.

    Exactly what kind of lab experiment gone wrong were you involved in allowing you to stretch to such Reed Richards proportions?

    By saying he cut taxes? Wow. Didn’t realize cutting taxes = “fucked the pooch”.

    Uh – cutting taxes and then spending like a ranch hand paid in cash after leading the cattle to the slaughter yards – don’t forget that second part. You know, an off the book war, unfunded prescription benefit mandate – that stuff.

    It has everything to do with the statement (the rich hoarding money) at hand.

    No it doesn’t – it is a case for money itself not being the root of all evil.

    Okay – this is devolving away from the original premise so I am bowing out – I cede all arguments to you – you’ve won – you’ve run circles around me blah blah blah …

    I’m going Christmas shopping.

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  41. Xetrov says:

    Exactly what kind of lab experiment gone wrong were you involved in allowing you to stretch to such Reed Richards proportions?

    Right. According to you, Bush “fucked the pooch” by lowering taxes instead of “fixing everything” and I’m the one stretching.

    Uh – cutting taxes and then spending like a ranch hand paid in cash after leading the cattle to the slaughter yards – don’t forget that second part.

    You didn’t say “that second part”. I did. You said that YOU were saying he “fucked the pooch”, but all you said was he cut taxes. Try to keep up.

    No it doesn’t

    You’ve been hanging out with too many five year olds. Saying something doesn’t make it so just because you don’t want it to.

    Okay – this is devolving away from the original premise so I am bowing out

    Bye.

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  42. AlexInCT says:

    Why do people on the left try to point at Bush as some pure example of conservatism that proves it doesn’t work? The guy was a moderate at best in regards to fiscal conservatism.

    No he wasn’t. Only fucking idiots on the left with BDS can delude themselves that was the case. Boosh was a compassionate conservative, which we later came to understand meant that he was a democrat light. He liked both big government and big government spending, and while he did cut taxes, it was not because he felt people should keep more of their own money, but because he knew that would spur economic growth, at a time we desperately needed it, and net the government more money in the long run. Yeah, compared to most democrats that’s a far better option, but let’s not pretend that the guy was fiscally conservative in any way, shape, or form.

    If Boosh had a (D) next to his name instead of the (R), the left would have loved him as a president. He was far more effective and efficient than Obama was, and he did most of the shit they love their guy to do (spend like mad, wars, pretend to trade your freedoms for security and ending up with neither, and of course, grow government). The whole “He cut taxes so that makes him a fiscal conservative” thing is bogus. Kennedy cut taxes too. Does tham make him a conservative? I mean if you ignore that congress does the fiscal stuff, you can say that even Clinton had tax cuts, before he raised our taxes again. The left’s fixation with tax cutting was only because Boosh did it after they became conditioned to hate everything about him.

    Boosh’s unforgivable crime was to not let Gore, with his army of lawyers and his crusade to disenfranchise military voters, and the Florida Supremes steal the 2000 election for democrats. That’s why the collectivists ended up hating the man and basically pretending that everything he did was wrong, even when he did exactly the same kind of shit that their people do all the time (only while oft succeeding, instead of failing miserably at it). Obama has taken the things the left hated about Boosh to new levels, and they can’t line up to suck his cock fast enough. The only reason he can’t ever cut taxes is because he is a fucking marxist wealth redistributionist idiot, or he would have done so too, and had a far better economic situation by now.

    But keep pretending Boosh was the epitome of the fiscal conservative if it makes you leftists feel better about how far into the marxist world of economic theory you have swung. I am sure you all think that this time you will get that crap to work. Don’t be surprised that you are going to again have to tell us the right people have not been in charge yet to make it work even after this clique of ‘right people’ fails at it yet again. Good luck with that envy driven shit.

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  43. Poosh says:

    Bush is a compassionate conservative. That is code for CENTRIST. People in the centre are obviously going to be more pro-welfare spending and even borrowing. It’s not like he kept this secret either. Calling him Democrat Lite is a bit unfair Alex! The point is Bush’s motives are far more nobler and decent than the average liberal, when he increases the welfare state. Agenda and motives are very important.

    Bush was not economically right wing in a significant way. He was far more mainstream. And that was hardly something he kept secret. It’s not like any conservative should be surprised.
    _____

    WHY are people so angry that there is large wealth disparity? Isn’t this a sign of degeneracy and good ‘ol Nietzschean style resentment? It’s a very human emotion held my a great number. But why is there such a fixation? Perhaps it has something to do with the rather stupid notion the wealth pie is fixed and the rich just take a larger share.

    This envy is NOT just something that affects liberals. I’ve noticed it in the far right as well who think that when you have absolute free markets the gap will be very small – as if that would be good, or something we should aim for.

    _____

    As for this “OMG THE RICH HOARD!” which is somewhat dubious as hoarding = making their funds available via banks. But hoarding is suspiciously like SAVING. And saving, accumulation of capital, is what one needs to do to get rich in the first place, a healthy practice.

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  44. AlexInCT says:

    Bush is a compassionate conservative. That is code for CENTRIST. People in the centre are obviously going to be more pro-welfare spending and even borrowing. It’s not like he kept this secret either.

    Boosh was a big government type, Poosh. That was the one thing I didn’t like about him. I voted for him because I did not think president Gore was a good thing for America. What Gore did to steal the election, and afterwards, as he degenerated into a fucking loon, proved my choice to be right. But I have to point out that I am a fiscal conservative, first and foremost. I detest big government, because I see it doing far more harm than any incidental good it could also do. I have hated having to defend Boosh against insane attacks against him. I especially detested the fucking collectivists making like they would have been fiscally nmore responsible than he was during his tenure. That was about the msot blatant lie ever told. The last 5 years under Obama should dissuade anyone from that notion. Hopefully for at least another 2 generations, like the Carter experience did. And no, the left’s policies are why our economy remains in a coma. Not whatever Boosh did or didn’t do that they don’t like.

    Calling him Democrat Lite is a bit unfair Alex!

    He was a big government type. I don’t like that. Granted, Boosh probably had more in common with Kennedy and the other democrats that came before Kennedy, and very little with the marxist profiteers that comprise the democratic party today, and thus the case can be made that I was being harsh calling him that, but I did want to make the point that he ascribed to a lot of the big government things the left does too, even if he might not go to the extreme they do.

    The point is Bush’s motives are far more nobler and decent than the average liberal, when he increases the welfare state. Agenda and motives are very important.

    I am sorry if I came across as feeling Boosh’s motives were the usual craven ones motivating the left, Poosh. Part of the reason the left hated him so much is precisely because he was principled and held to some morality, a quality sorely lacking in their candidates. The left seems enamored with scumbags, used cars salesmen, and crooks. I frankly felt sorry for Boosh that he really believed he should use the state to fix the plight of those that are less fortunate. His tax cuts did far more to help the less well off than the growth in the welfare state ever did, though.

    As for this “OMG THE RICH HOARD!” which is somewhat dubious as hoarding = making their funds available via banks. But hoarding is suspiciously like SAVING. And saving, accumulation of capital, is what one needs to do to get rich in the first place, a healthy practice.

    It’s not a coincidence that the left discourages savings, sound fiscal decisions & practices, and looks down on people that feel, like I do, that people that pursue instant gratification over sacrificing now to have better later, should not be rewarded. The rich are rich because, despite their wealth and the opportunities said wealth presents, they keep making wise decisions with their money. Those that don’t do that will not stay rich for long.

    The problem with those envious of the rich is that they want to have the gratification of what wealth can buy you without first accumulating said wealth to the point where you can spend it on luxury items without compromising the base wealth. So they feel they are justified in handicapping those trying to get rich (income taxes), and oft even feel they should be allowed to plunder the wealth of others (death taxes). There is a reason that these collectivists all imply, or in some cases even outright accuse, the well-off of getting their money in a nefarious way: it makes it easier to justify stealing it from them.

    It’s the same reason they want you to believe that there should be a cap on how much someone can earn or be worth. They know what they are doing is just theft by government coercion. And their big racket is that they have rigged the game to make sure they can control, in most cases, who gets to join the ranks of the wealthy. And these are always people like them. That’s why the wealthy are doing so well under Obama, while the middle class is being squeezed out of existence.

    But the class warriors will all tell you they care about the poor while their credentialed elite political class and their friends rake in the dough and make serfs of the rest of us. It is not a coincidence that collectivism leads to poverty and misery for the great unwashed majority, because poverty and misery is easier to provide than abundance and happiness. Why anyone still believes collectivism is not just another ideology, invented by people that wanted to overthrow the existing centers of power and take over, and that compared to all the others, and one that has caused the most death, pain, and misery, remains a mystery to me. There is nothing noble or good about wealth redistribution. Period.

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  45. CM says:

    You should probably read the article before posting it if you’re going to try to cite it as some sort of debunking that the rich hoardmoney, or don’t make money work for them.

    It was to support the claim that they are hoarding money. The point of the piece is that IN ADDITION to the $16.5 trillion invested with private banks and wealth-management firms, there is additional $10 trillion they’re just sitting on.

    Your own article even answers why they don’t have all of their money in the markets -

    The massive growth of the financial system is one of the main reasons why so much money sloshes around such a small subset of society. It used to be that the rich used their money to produce things. Now they either do nothing with it, or they use it to make more money in the financial markets, much of which seems to produce nothing but volatility.

    Gosh, I wonder why.

    It would be good to see some sort of comparison between business conditions now, and conditions for the previous 100 years. Especially compared to, say, the 1970′s. Did even greater hoarding (sorry, ‘saving’) go on when conditions were harder for business (when taxes were higher, there were more tariffs, unions were stronger)? If not, why not?
    Surely Obama is to the fiscal right of most other Democrat Presidents in history?

    How is $57K higher than a $73K boat?

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  46. CM says:

    What Gore did to steal the election, and afterwards, as he degenerated into a fucking loon, proved my choice to be right.

    As whackjob Pat Buchanan acknowledged, Gore was ultimately fucked over by the design of the ballot in Palm Beach County.

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  47. AlexInCT says:

    As whackjob Pat Buchanan acknowledged, Gore was ultimately fucked over by the design of the ballot in Palm Beach County.

    Palm Beach is a demcorat stronghold, with all the people that worked on that ballot being democrats. If anything, they screwed themselves with those ballots. And I recall the media calling the election for Gore in FL early that night and basically discouraging tens of thousands of voters in the panhandle area, which is massively conservative, from going to vote. It’s all water under the bridge.

    What did happen though is that Gore tried to rig the recount by picking selected donkey strongholds, and then using ever changing rules that would benefit him, while basically using an army of lawyers to keep all military ballots from being counted. When the AG, as she was supposed to under the law in FL, decided she had to call the election, the FL supremes, all democrats, stepped in to basically block her and allow the recount to continue so they could help Gore steal it. That’s why the decision was then pushed up to the SCOTUS, and lucky for us, there were enough people in black that were not about their team first, but actually following the law. That whole “let every vote count”, as the fact that Gore didn’t want any military ballot counted, was noise to cover for what they were doing. Yeah, I know the left wants to pretend that it was the SCOTUS decision, and not the decision by the FL supremes that was the bad one, but they are fucking lying through their teeth.

    Every recount after that attempt to steal the election was thwarted, BTW, showed Boosh winning it (unless you did someting so blatantly illegal and obvious that only partisan hacks would not be disgusted by it). And those recounts were done by the liberal media, whom did its best to get Gore a win.

    I guess there was some higher power looking over the US at that time.

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  48. Xetrov says:

    It was to support the claim that they are hoarding money.

    Even though they’re not, per your article.

    The point of the piece is that IN ADDITION to the $16.5 trillion invested with private banks and wealth-management firms, there is additional $10 trillion they’re just sitting on…

    The massive growth of the financial system is one of the main reasons why so much money sloshes around such a small subset of society. It used to be that the rich used their money to produce things. Now they either do nothing with it, or they use it to make more money in the financial markets, much of which seems to produce nothing but volatility.

    Even if they are only using about two-thirds of their excess cash to make more money in the market, what business is it of yours, or anyone else’s? So what if they want to build a vault and swim around in their money?

    But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality–the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

    Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth–the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it.

    Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

    Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

    But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich–will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth.

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  49. CM says:

    Even if they are only using about two-thirds of their excess cash to make more money in the market, what business is it of yours, or anyone else’s? So what if they want to build a vault and swim around in their money?

    Personally it’s no business of mine.
    The problem is that the flow of money from the top downwards is how the economic system is meant to work. But it increasingly doesn’t (and increasingly hasn’t as markets have been freed up). Which is the most plausible explanation for why “the median household saw its net worth drop to $57,000 in 2010, down from $73,000 in 1983″. While the top 1% saw their average wealth grow to $16.4 million, up from $9.6 million in 1983.
    Not only are both boats not rising, one boat is now in an ocean on an entirely different planet.

    IMO the issue is nothing to do with ‘envy’ (always a lazy claim, and generally an indicator that someone is an ideologue who isn’t interested in reality or outcome, just theory) but whether the economy is functioning as it’s designed to function. Economies are highly engineered, they aren’t ‘natural’. They try to factor in human nature, but if that is changing (i.e. despite business conditions being good, the rich now look to use their money by investing in the finance sector, or just sit on it, rather than invest in capital and labour) then it seems to me that economic structures or systems need to be altered to suit. I don’t have any inherent issues or complaints about income inequality across an economy though – it’s only when it seems to be undermining the system that I think it needs to be looked at closely.
    How did Rand factor in the existence of a gargantuan and ever-increasing financial sector and the significant lack of anything productive coming from it?

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  50. Iconoclast says:

    There seems to be a lot of talk about how rich the rich are, and how the gap between rich and poor is widening, but little discussion of what “poor” actually means…

    Astonishing Numbers: America’s Poor Still Live Better Than Most Of The Rest Of Humanity

    How Poor Are America’s Poor? Examining the “Plague” of Poverty in America

    Strange Facts about America’s ‘Poor’

    One thing to consider, in addition to the above, is that America’s poor enjoy a standard of living that kings, queens and emperors from five hundred years ago couldn’t even imagine, let alone achieve.

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  51. Xetrov says:

    How did Rand factor in the existence of a gargantuan and ever-increasing financial sector and the significant lack of anything productive coming from it?

    One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.

    Ayn Rand, 1975.

    From the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights -

    These words were written more than 30 years ago, but they apply exactly to today’s financial crisis. Today’s problems are the result of a government-controlled financial and housing system that rewarded irrational behavior and punished responsible behavior. Yet they are being blamed on “the free market”—with more controls offered as the solution.

    Why? For the same reason that the controls were passed in the first place. The dominant moral and political ideas in our culture lead Americans to believe that a free market, with its unfettered pursuit of self-interest, is immoral and destructive—whereas a government that controls and manipulates the economy in some indefinable “public interest” is seen as a source of economic security and prosperity.

    On these pages, ARC experts clarify the fundamental issues involved in the current crisis—the controls that led to it, the ideas that led to the controls, the destructiveness of the government response so far. And they provide the antidote: an explanation of the true, benevolent nature of the morality of rational self-interest and the political-economic system of laissez-faire capitalism.

    Explore all you want – http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_financial_crisis

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  52. richtaylor365 says:

    It was to support the claim that they are hoarding money.

    Let me get this straight, you post an article that was 31/2 years old, written at a time when the recession was barely over, when the S&P and Dow were at near record lows, where folks were losing their asses both in the market and with their under water mortgages, and with that insight you are positing that rich folks are hoarding their money NOW?

    The simple fact that both the S&P and the DOW are at record highs prove that you are wrong, markets cannot rise unless there are buyers, and by definition hoarders don’t use their money( buying stocks or anything else), they just sit on it.

    It used to be that the rich used their money to produce things. Now they either do nothing with it, or they use it to make more money in the financial markets, much of which seems to produce nothing but volatility.

    I need some clarification on all this ambiguity. How do you define “do nothing with it”? Do you consider putting that money to work in the markets buying stocks, or putting it in banks (doubtful anyone is doing that these days given the piddling returns offered) where they can loan that money out to businesses that will use that money to grow their business and hire more people, is this in your mind doing nothing with it?

    How is $57K higher than a $73K boat?

    It’s not, but it also has zero to do with what we are talking about. You still don’t think it is 2010 again, do you?

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  53. CM says:

    Good point Iconoclast, and interesting stuff at your links too (especially the graphs in the first one).
    Upward mobility is the carrot, as Rich keeps pointing out. But if less and less people see realistic chances for upward mobility, the key part of the theory increasingly doesn’t work as well. So in that sense it’s less about the relative positions, more about the carrot still being dangled within reach.
    The numbers are also snapshots – to me it seems just as important that the trends are going in the right direction (again, is the carrot increasingly being pulled away, pushed closer, or is it holding steady?).

    One thing to consider, in addition to the above, is that America’s poor enjoy a standard of living that kings, queens and emperors from five hundred years ago couldn’t even imagine, let alone achieve.

    Totally. It’s astonishing when we consider it in those terms.

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  54. CM says:

    You still don’t think it is 2010 again, do you?

    Wow it’s going to devolve into this stuff already? That was quick.

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  55. CM says:

    Thanks Xetrov, I’ll certainly have a read. Not sure it will answer my actual question though….

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  56. richtaylor365 says:

    Wow it’s going to devolve into this stuff already?

    Well, what am I to think when smack dab in the middle of discussion concerning the current state of taxation and who pays what, you throw some 3 1/2 year old article out, like that is supposed to lend anything into the mix. You do realize that in 2010, the country was still in the throws of a recession and that folks were scared to death (at least those that had money to lose) about where to turn financially. 2010 is nothing like what we are seeing today, yet this is what you have to offer?

    But if less and less people see realistic chances for upward mobility, the key part of the theory increasingly doesn’t work as well.

    I’m glad you said “if” because I don’t agree with that premise. I think this nation is flush, several hundred years worth, with examples of folks coming to America with far less, folks that had nothing, did not speak the language, and had no safety net to break their fall, folks that made it, folks that with only a dream, an idea of what is possible for them.

    If you want to abandon a large segment of our society and admit that they have no chance, then sure, entitlements is the answer, after all, they can’t do it themselves, right?

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  57. CM says:

    Well, what am I to think when smack dab in the middle of discussion concerning the current state of taxation and who pays what, you throw some 3 1/2 year old article out, like that is supposed to lend anything into the mix. You do realize that in 2010, the country was still in the throws of a recession and that folks were scared to death (at least those that had money to lose) about where to turn financially. 2010 is nothing like what we are seeing today, yet this is what you have to offer?

    No, I also immediately added a very current link.
    I was also discussing the long term trend. The financial crisis didn’t alter that trend. What am I arguing that only happened during that short period? $57K to $73K didn’t just happen because of the financial crisis.
    I guess I could also add that there are other links being provided that are as ‘old’ or older, but then I don’t think their age is all that relevant either, so I don’t have any complaints in that regard.

    I’m glad you said “if” because I don’t agree with that premise. I think this nation is flush, several hundred years worth, with examples of folks coming to America with far less, folks that had nothing, did not speak the language, and had no safety net to break their fall, folks that made it, folks that with only a dream, an idea of what is possible for them.

    Right – people know full well where that carrot was positioned for so long (that seems to be an ingrained part of being an American). But that makes it all the more obvious to people if that carrot is now in a different place – because if it is, people are likely to notice more readily. There is a greater chance that they think they’re being conned. I think the key is the CHANGE in where that carrot is. The fact that a carrot has been in place for so long only emphasises any great movement in where that carrot is.

    If you want to abandon a large segment of our society and admit that they have no chance, then sure, entitlements is the answer, after all, they can’t do it themselves, right?

    This contains a premise that you’re assuming I agree with. To me allowing the carrot to slip further and further away would be more consistent with abandoning those people. But even then that’s a rather extreme rhetoric, so I wouldn’t go that far. “Abandoning people” is literally leaving people to drown on a sinking boat because those in the life-rafts want more room. I’m suggesting any equivalent to that.
    Anyway, I’m certainly not advocating that entitlements are the answer (to anything).

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  58. AlexInCT says:

    Personally it’s no business of mine. The problem is that the flow of money from the top downwards is how the economic system is meant to work. But it increasingly doesn’t (and increasingly hasn’t as markets have been freed up). Which is the most plausible explanation for why “the median household saw its net worth drop to $57,000 in 2010, down from $73,000 in 1983″. While the top 1% saw their average wealth grow to $16.4 million, up from $9.6 million in 1983.

    So lets speculate that you had this right CM – and I say speculate because I don’t buy it – what do you think the motivation to hang onto their money is? I mean, if I was constantly harassed and attacked for being successful, by a pack of jealous losers of all things, I would want to do something about it. And while some people let the extortion and coercion by the left work on them, turn pussy, and feel they can save their hide by baring their throats to the hyenas – this is done by giving up some of their money to liberal causes – I would not be surprised to find many will say “fuck you” and take their money home and leave you without a ball to play. Frankly, if I was one of them I would do the later. Baring your throat to a pack of hyenas only encourages the hyenas to rip it open and kill you, after all.

    There’s a nugget of wisdom here for you and people that think like you: when you need something from someone else, you can certainly use force and coercion to get it, but I guarantee you that unless you are OK killing the golden goose, the better approach is to show appreciation and support. Know what I am saying? If you are constantly demanding I give you more of the money I earned, and then doing so in a threatening way while resenting the fact that I make it, I feel no obligation to give you any help at all, and I will only do what is in my, and only my best interest. In fact, I might choose to do some things that are not so much in my interest as long as it keeps you out of my fucking life, and especially my wallet.

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  59. CM says:

    So lets speculate that you had this right CM – and I say speculate because I don’t buy it – what do you think the motivation to hang onto their money is? I mean, if I was constantly harassed and attacked for being successful, by a pack of jealous losers of all things, I would want to do something about it.

    You always make that claim, but as I say – I’d like to see some comparison to the past which supports that.
    Since the mid-1980s corporate tax rates have been lower than they were since 1941, according to this:
    http://www.personal.psu.edu/sjh11/images/mtrgraph.gif
    I realise that is just one variable, but it’s certainly not one to support your underlying premise.

    As Rich said, it’s not just sitting on the cash, it’s spending it differently. Spending it less productively, because greater profits can be made that. That’s the other thing I need to look into – for every $1 a wealthy persons spends (or saves), how ‘productive’ is that $1 (in terms of money flowing into reasonable-paying jobs? And how does that compare to, say, 50 years ago? I get the impression that much less of it is ‘productive’ today. Much higher returns are obviously on offer though.

    And while some people let the extortion and coercion by the left work on them, turn pussy, and feel they can save their hide by baring their throats to the hyenas – this is done by giving up some of their money to liberal causes – I would not be surprised to find many will say “fuck you” and take their money home and leave you without a ball to play. Frankly, if I was one of them I would do the later. Baring your throat to a pack of hyenas only encourages the hyenas to rip it open and kill you, after all.

    Or some might not be doing it “to save their hide”. But I know full well that suggesting that is futile (because in your world everyone on the left is either a moron or evil).

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  60. Poosh says:

    Alex said: ” That’s why I feel that people that don’t pay taxes, or worse, get money back from those that do, shouldn’t get a vote when it comes to policies that allow them to get even more money from others. ”

    While one sympathises with that, do you not think (and surely you do!) that we must be forced to give all the vote (admittedly perhaps with some simple demands such as evidence of very basic education, to prove primitive critical skills) because it is perfectly possible and plausible that the structure of any given nation state might be such that people with such low pay that they do not pay taxes – or cannot – and indeed the unemployed, SHOULD vote because the very structure they are forced to exist in prevents them from actually gaining employment or earning the necessary money that would enable them to afford to pay taxes: i.e their vote is the only way they can change the structure that impoverishes them?

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  61. AlexInCT says:

    While one sympathises with that, do you not think (and surely you do!) that we must be forced to give all the vote (admittedly perhaps with some simple demands such as evidence of very basic education, to prove primitive critical skills) because it is perfectly possible and plausible that the structure of any given nation state might be such that people with such low pay that they do not pay taxes – or cannot – and indeed the unemployed, SHOULD vote because the very structure they are forced to exist in prevents them from actually gaining employment or earning the necessary money that would enable them to afford to pay taxes: i.e their vote is the only way they can change the structure that impoverishes them?

    Funny you should ask that question Poosh, because I firmly believe that should we end up with that kind of a system, it will be our government that imposed it on us.

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  62. richtaylor365 says:

    I was also discussing the long term trend. The financial crisis didn’t alter that trend. What am I arguing that only happened during that short period? $57K to $73K didn’t just happen because of the financial crisis.

    Don’t you mean $73K to $57K, thus indicating a downward trend? Either way, it is flat out wrong. First off, as I said before, with the run up both in the stock market and housing prices, Americans have recouped just about all the losses they suffered in the recession, so the trend is going up, not down;

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Since the site has lost all author tools, I can’t preview so I hope it worked.

    Anywho, this is much more current than your 2010 link. Notice how far we have come in all areas from 2010, still in the clutches of recession.

    Right – people know full well where that carrot was positioned for so long (that seems to be an ingrained part of being an American). But that makes it all the more obvious to people if that carrot is now in a different place – because if it is, people are likely to notice more readily. There is a greater chance that they think they’re being conned. I think the key is the CHANGE in where that carrot is. The fact that a carrot has been in place for so long only emphasises any great movement in where that carrot is.

    I read that 3 times and I still don’t know what the hell you are talking about, I’ll assume that the disconnect is on my end. I don’t get the whole carrot concept since this assumes a finish line, a concrete goal whereby you can say ,”I made it”. The goal is not just one thing, to become a millionaire, the goal is simply to prosper, in whatever form that manifests itself for the individual. I think we can agree on the direction, if not the specific destination.

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  63. AlexInCT says:
    So lets speculate that you had this right CM – and I say speculate because I don’t buy it – what do you think the motivation to hang onto their money is? I mean, if I was constantly harassed and attacked for being successful, by a pack of jealous losers of all things, I would want to do something about it.

    You always make that claim, but as I say – I’d like to see some comparison to the past which supports that. Since the mid-1980s corporate tax rates have been lower than they were since 1941, according to this: http://www.personal.psu.edu/sjh11/images/mtrgraph.gif I realise that is just one variable, but it’s certainly not one to support your underlying premise.

    OK, ignoring the fact that you again posted a link to an image without context or details – which basically means I ignored it because considering you I can safely assume it came from some place that I would have otherwise dismissed outright for bias and fabrication of lefty talking points – I am a bit baffled what you are smoking, snorting, or injecting into your veins.

    Are you seriously trying to pretend that the last 5 years of class warfare have not happened? Did you miss all the bullshit about how these marxist constantly talk about how they wanted to raise taxes and punish the 1%ers? Hear the venom when they mention Wall Street or corporate America? The demands that the rich pay more masked as “paying their fair share” with nothing being fair about it? You do remember that OWS clown show that advocated a marxist revolution and the confiscation of wealth so unemployed and lazy slackers could avoid paying their school loans, right? What about the downright hostility of these marxists towards earners that do not suck their cock? Anyone that dared speak out against Obama and the left has either been audited by the IRS, harassed by the IRS or the DOJ, or chased out of the country and forced to seek asylum in Russia to avoid their wrath & retribution. And Obama’s renewed focus on the income inequality bullshit class warfare meme, brought up just the other day yet again, as his poll numbers plummet because of one of the most heinous wealth redistribution scams ever foisted on the American people – Obamacare – must be something I imagined.

    Put down the can of unicorn farts and let your brain clear out dude. The left has been harassing producers, be they individuals or corporate entities, and demanding they allow the left to get an even bigger chunk for a long time, and the last 5 years have been the worst of those. The only difference between the mafia shakedown for protection money and that of the left through government wealth redistribution schemes & scams is the amounts of money involved. The left makes the mobsters look like kids running a lemonade stand competing because the level of their racket would be the equivalent of Coca Cola and Pepsi combined.

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  64. Poosh says:

    Yar true Alex, I agree – based on the facts today. But our democracies etc. should be built to withstand and avoid all possible man-made evils, no?

    Seeing as I was away for a while might I ask why all the sites Tools vanished and where Jim has gone? And omgz where has Thrill gone?

    …and any news of Drumwaster?

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  65. Poosh says:

    *oh, btw, that IRS auditing that cancer patient who lost his care due to Obamacare? IRS has now audited the activist guy who was auditing him….

    It’s so brazen it *has* to be a coincidence, no?

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  66. AlexInCT says:

    Yar true Alex, I agree – based on the facts today. But our democracies etc. should be built to withstand and avoid all possible man-made evils, no?

    That’s the problem with democracies Poosh: they are fragile things and any attempts to secure their ability to stay as such tend to cause more harm than good. I see the work of the forefathers of this great nation I am blessed to live in as the best and most capable incarnation of a system to protect the people of said nation. Notice that distinction. The forefathers understood that of all available systems democracy was the best, but they chose to focus on protecting the people and their freedoms rather than the institution, correctly assuming that as long as the people had the backbone and morality needed, their democratic experiment would remain safe.

    Is the system perfect? Absolutely not. And it has some holes that have allowed people that have zero respect for what we had to actually undermine our freedoms, our rights, our futures, and of course the very republican form of democracy that has allowed us the prosperity and freedoms we now take for granted, if you look at the last few decades of Leviathan’s growth and expansion. In the end the best weapon against a democracy being undermined or killed is for its people to put their liberty above all the other trappings used by those that abhor freedom to justify their infringements on our rights and wellbeing.

    As soon as we start allowing the state to trample on the rights of any group of people, no matter how noble the cause they make or present as the reason for their abuse of freedoms, we are on the road to disaster. And believe you me no group does more of this pretending to mean well and then doing harm, than the collectivists. Their motives are sold as being for good, but experience and the end results of their crusade, have made me come to believe they are only using the gullibility of the masses. In the end it is the same age old dynamic of one group trying to usurp power from those that have it, and pretending that you are doing it for some concept of justice is the best way to provide the envious with cover for the criminal behavior.

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